I managed to hear a few months ago that the GameSpot site was being rebuilt from scratch. That's something to be happy about, right? No more glitches, no more BONK! errors, no more trouble changing your avatar or signature. Unfortunately, that's not the full list.
The full list of changes is no more unions, no more user created boards, no more downloads, no more advanced forum settings, no more emblems, no more levels, and possibly no more blogs. What hurt most of all was no more Fuse.
Uh wait... so what are the improvements? Nothing, it seems. It was so bad it wasn't even funny reading Lark Anderson writing in such a jumpy manner to make it sound like things are getting better. It's like Dean Winchester saying, "Stay out of her underwear drawer," in Supernatural Season 1 Episode 7. He might as well have written:
"So GUYS, aren't you so EXCITED for the so CHANGES on the SITE? RIGHT GUYS? *nudge nudge* RIGHT?"
I'll post what I think of all this rigmarole categorically:
Removal of Unions: I have to say with a small amount of regret that I was not a long-time regular user on any union. But I know that a lot of users are, and they love their unions. The site got cluttered with abandoned unions, that is true, but whether that is because of the lack of support they got or a lack of interest, you can decide for yourself. The staff should have let users ask which unions they wanted to keep and if the level of activity was deemed good enough, they would be carried over into the new site. Some users even moved their unions to new boards because of this change.
Removal of Downloads: I first signed up for GameSpot to download a patch and some mods. The download speed was so pathetic that I couldn't finish the smallest file. GameSpot's servers can barely hold the site down with parts of it shut off in E3s, so I suppose they don't have the resources to host downloads. I suppose everyone is OK with this.
Removal of Member Levels and Emblems: After the shutting-down of Fuse, this part hurts the most. I thought of GameSpot's gamification through levels and emblems as one of the most successful perks system of all time, and now they're freezing it and moving the incomplete stuff into a Trophy room of sorts. Maybe for the Off-Topic/System Wars jerks who spend all their time on the forums and get modded down ten levels everyday because of their crap, this doesn't matter much. But some users took this seriously, and I cannot for the life of me see why GameSpot thought that the removal of these systems was a good idea. I'm very unhappy about this.
Removal of Animated GIFs in Forum Signatures: I think one user summed it up best in the comments - "You remove animated gifs in forum signatures and then post two gifs in the article to rub it in."
Removal of Fuse: I was lucky enough to be on Fuse when it was still new, and it was what really made me a regular user on GameSpot. It was so separate from the main site that there wasn't evena link go back once you entered it! (You had to write in the normal site's URL manually). A safe haven from the 80% population of idiotic trolls in the Off-Topic and System Wars forums, since none of them, I believe, used Fuse more than a few times. In early 2012 the layout was changed so it was closer to the main site, but a bunch of users didn't like the new layout and went off (Truggly, why did you have to leave? :cry: ) But despite all the glitches there were us users who used it regularly. It got ruined yet again by a few jerks who turned it into a goddamn animal-picture/memebase, and it wasn't as fun as it used to be, but still it was there, and worked sometimes :P
Now Fuse is being integrated into user profiles, much like the 'wall' system that IGN used which was a massive failure. This basically means that Fuse will cease to exist. Even if we use it, the Off-Topic and System Wars users will be all over it because 'it's sooooo like Facebook and it makes me feel cool h33t 1337 haxor wot roflmao." This is the change that I hate most, because not only will it cause another bunch of people to leave, it will make the site more cluttered than a separate Fuse ever did. Fuse was good as a separate place and it didn't bother users who didn't want to use it either. All the 'Oh it will be better, ha' people can see for themselves once it's done. Then I'll write a blog called Who's Laughing Now? unless blogs are removed as well :P :cry:
As for whether I'll stay on, since I know a lot of users are leaving ... I'll stay long enough to see how the new site is, and I've asked my favourite users on here who've said basically the same thing. If they leave, then I'll have very little reason to stay on. So, how many of you guys are staying?