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How far has the Liber fallen?


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#26
Schlitzaf

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As an aside I have been lurking on B&C for years only started posting recently myself. However one of the reason I joined was to show off my Dalthus Crusade. A crusade I spent a lot of time writing and organizing, creating and but importantly adapting actions on the tabletop for the flavor of the Crusade.

Some moments bad, some moments good. But it didn't fit the IA Format (being a part of another Chapter thus unable by nature to complete parts of the a IA, or be redundant). Additionally a lot my Crusade is tied to my non-SM portions, with Gaurdsman and Inquisition playing prominent roles (inquisition more saliantly).

But just from that thread had I post my Crusade earlier it would not been accepted it feels like it. While I would love more criticism, the fact I feel Conn gave me some allowing me to more fully flesh out some of my ideas
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#27
Arkangilos

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As others have already mentioned, much has changed in the intervening years that has had an impact. Changes to the setting, changes among the regulars, changes in administration, so on and so forth. I will say, I honestly don't think that the Liber's placement in the basement has any effect. The Liber was always the place you would go if you were looking for it, not because you came across it. An extra flick of the wheel or swipe of the finger isn't going to deter anyone.

But to be quite frank, these changes have not been entirely in the negative. For those who really enjoyed the Liber of yesteryears, the Liber of today is not the same. I can understand if that's a source of sadness. The Liber of old had a lot of value to it, which is evidenced by those who were a part of it and still frequent these halls, such as Olis and Ace. They, among others, were the ideal Liberite that made the Liber somewhere I'd like to be.

But it took a while for me, because of other aspects of the old Liber that I am personally glad are gone. I created an account just before the new year of 2012, but I'd been lurking since 2008. I honestly couldn't remember except that it was right around when Soulstorm got released, as I'm also one who got into the setting by way of Dawn of War. The internet's always had the unfortunate side-effect of an echo chamber among online communities, and for a time the Liber was one too. The Liber was exactly what I was looking for in an online 40k community, but I didn't like the environment at that time. Everybody posted with the intent of constructive criticism, but often only within the head-canon many regulars had accepted. If you didn't accept that head-canon as your own, it felt like most C&C was given with a "Don't write what you want, write what we want" message. A lot of regulars got saltier over the years, which is natural. They'd seen everything dozens of times, but that ended up detracting newer members from sticking around when they'd come back to pages and pages of "Oh look, more X again," even when the only criticism about it was simply that it was common.

It also changed a lot of Liber functions from their original intent, such as the Librarium itself. Rules and restrictions of quality were put in place, where none were supposed to be. It was meant to only ever be a collection of DIYs deemed complete, but over time its gatekeepers began to tie the meaning of "complete" to standards built in the echo chamber. If you answered our criticism the way we want you to, created a DIY in keeping with our headcanon and met our standards of quality, it was in. Otherwise, nope. It certainly wasn't always like that, every single time, but to an outsider looking in, it was definitely the norm.

If you were part of that group, everything worked perfectly. I wasn't sure if I was. Ideally, the intent of the old Liber was to assist members in getting their DIY ready for a shared universe. My own take was that the original author's desires were the most important thing for each DIY, and so the idea of a shared universe should only matter if that was the author's intent. I wanted my DIY's to be a part of that shared universe, but I didn't really agree with what was being generally accepted as 'constructive.'

I thought I would be fine for myself. I would want my DIYs to meet their expectations, so I figured I would fit in. But like I said, I didn't really like the environment that created. I understood the criticisms leveled at unknown Foundings or gene-seed, because yeah, most of the time it comes across as lazy writing trying to pass off as mysterious. I didn't want that for any of my DIYs. But why was it a blanket criticism where regulars would brow-beat new posters if they didn't want to get rid of it, when it's almost always been canon for Chapters to actually not know? Doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense for them not to know, it happens nonetheless. There were a lot of things that were being accepted as group-think head-canon that nobody should defy, that contradicted actual canon, like restrictions on the 2nd Founding. In older lore, before the increase of Legion sizes or the Grey Knights' dex citing hundreds of 2nd Founding Chapters, there were just two in-universe Apocrypha that gave any details on it. Granted, it was all we had, but it frustrated me to no end that a document that was treated as false or fake in-universe was holy law in the Liber.

So I lurked, and took what I could to make my ideas better. Then Rites of Battle got released, and I really got into writing up DIYs. By that point (early 2011), it seemed like the Liber was getting more and more tense. By late 2011, that tension was changing the environment a bit and it was starting to become something I'd like to truly join. I even remember the actual thread that made me rethink my stance as a lurker. I'm really surprised I actually remember that thread . . . Anyway, Admins got involved there and elsewhere, and stated plainly that the Liber was not developing as it was meant to. The points they made aligned with how I felt, and so I finally joined.

That caused a drastic change in the Liber, and probably factors in more than any lore change or fan burnout.

Don't take this as me coming down on the old Liber, because I'm not. This isn't a "Old Liber was bad, New Liber is good" post, nor am I saying that what I didn't like about the old Liber is more important or relevant than what others liked about it. The current Liber has its shortcomings too, and the old Liber had a lot of good to it. I already mentioned Ace or Olis, and it's because they're very much a product of the old Liber's best qualities, and it's why they always top my list when I want specific feedback. They're certainly not the only, just the first of those I regularly interacted with. So no, I'm not saying the old ways of the Liber were horrible and should never come back. Just that, for all its qualities, it had its negatives as well.

I miss the Librarium, and I really wanted to get my Emerald Tigers in. But we're also not imposing false or unwanted restrictions. I don't mean we're suddenly accepting Chapters of ten thousand terminators of Space Wolf gene-seed, I mean that the Liber has more of a concentration on author's intent over acceptance into a shared universe. We lose the value in that, but we also lose the drawbacks developed in the echo chamber.

And I know, I share the burden of the blame for the dearth of feedback in the Liber. Thorn's right, that providing proper C&C takes a lot of time. I don't really have as much free time to keep updating every Liber thread with relevant, constructive criticism, but I'm also just not as willing to use my time in pursuit of that anymore either. I hope that by funneling my efforts to other things, projects that get multiple people involved and interacting like the thought experiments or the Liber Cluster, I'm doing my part in keeping the Liber alive. Projects both current and planned.

But I don't know. There's probably a middle road out there upon which the best version of the Liber could thrive. I'm always willing to listen to ideas, and I would gladly lend assistance to any efforts that would improve the Liber.


I think it's weird that I actually agree with Nightrawen, especially considering he slaughtered my first DIY. When I compare my most up to date version linked in my sig to the original that he tore apart, I find that it's far better. It would not have improved had he not been so harsh, and had Ace and a few others pushed against it.
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#28
Reyner

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I used to spend 80% of my B&C down in the Liber when I first joined but over time I've moved onto other things like the Heresy and RL has changed massively over the years for me too. I try to be more active down here every now and then but time is in short supply!


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#29
Cpt_Reaper

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I've been informed that I'll have real internet soon, so WATCH OUT LIBER...I'm bringing all my crazy ideas.


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#30
joschlumpf

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I know I am just a newbie and don´t know the old Liber but I don´t think it´s a Liber problem per se.

 

During March I wandered around the internet and I can´t even remember why. Suddenly I came across the Iron Gauntlet. It was exactly what I needed to kick myself in the butt and get some work done. I joined the B&C and even with me being new and have no real idea if my critics were actually helpful and my "IA"-entry for the challenge could be his own universe by itself (it started 10 years ago, I was a teenager and still I try to fix the "that´s more than cool" stuff in it xD) but I got friendly replies and even thanks. Sadly I only have spare time during work to browse B&C and it´s hard to read all the 3000+ words articles in one hour lunch break and post something constructive. So I wandered to other sections of the forum and found out, that the liber is the best place (communitywise).

 

My personal experience:

Spoiler

 

With people "defending" their subsection against anyone who don´t 100% agree with them or ignore posts it will be hard to get people to reply to something, no matter in which subsection. The problem of the Liber is in my opinion, that it is a niché of the hobby. As stated before, most of the hobbyists take a/n existing chapter, warband, hivefleet, whatever and don´t have to think about who they are, how they act and what colour scheme they have. They don´t have much interest in creating something themselves, therefore the Liber will only get a fraction of the hobbyists inside their halls. 

Of course, we all could do more in the Liber but jobs, real-life and other hobbys/interests also want a piece of our time. Maybe it´s just a hard time for the Liber and it will get better. Maybe if the new fluff is more detailed, with the books yet to come and a little more known by the community, people will be interested in making Primaris Chapters or chapters during the new crusade. I guess many will wait for what comes now from GW and than decide if they find something for themselves or not. Or maybe we just need more events/projects/recruitment options.

I mean, there are people who still believe in plastic sisters, so I guess as long as the Liber don´t give up it will be here and it will see plastic sis.....äh... a new high in activity .


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#31
Mileposter

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While I have been visiting B&C for a long time, I am certainly in the 'newbie' category as far as participation goes.

The Liber was not where I first saw the name B&C - I first encountered B&C while looking up some painting questions. Some nifty guides over there in the crafting section. The humor is that I wasn't even into Warhammer yet!

The Liber is, however, what got me to stay. What made me realize that I can do my own creative stuff with this game (I started painting with Tabletop Miniatures for D&D, all of which are preconstructed, so this was actually a revelation). It was the Liber that sparked my imagination to be experimental with the hobby side. I could get crazy with it!
 
Seeing the older threads and older IA's back then, yeah, didn't seem like 'getting crazy' was very well accepted. Some times it was more than others, but by and large, don't color too far outside the lines. Personally, I liked that. 40k is supposed to feel like 40k, and while we can all have a good laugh at My Little Pony Marines, the Liber wasn't the place to do so. Right tool for the right job, you know? It's hard to argue with the 'in crowd' feel some of that had, but to me it almost felt... Necessary? With the state of the game the way it was at the time. Now, more open is better.

Speaking only from personal experience, the shift from spectator to participant in the Liber has not been difficult. I know that part is different for everyone, but I can at least attest that there was no sense of 'post only what is already acceptable' when I brought my ideas to be vetted. There wasn't the same sense of needing to please the 'in crowd'. I did not get many replies to my first Liber thread, but each was welcoming and - the more important to me - thoughtful. "Did you think about this?" and "Does his mean you'll do X?" are great encouragements. It was very obvious that those who replied saw what effort had been put into the work, and had appreciated that effort. My thoughts thread never actually became an IA, largely because I found out it was okay to be a Heretic Xeno on B&C, but it still gave that sense of progress.
 
I don't think that responses to Liber contributions being slow is a problem, so long as that is an expectation that is known and when the responses do come it's got equal effort in it. I posted my first completed Liber article knowing it would probably be a month or more before it got any return simply because it's not Space Marines. It's a niche thing already, and a large portion of the Liberites don't even look at anything that isn't Space Marines - a quick look at the Liber traffic can show that. But that's the point of contributing, right? I figure, the best way to increase people looking at an area is to first give people something to look at.
 
It's really roundabout, but the point I'm anecdotally circling to is an agreement to what was said earlier: It's a catch 22 vicious circle thing. If more IA/IH/IX articles get posted, there's more incentive to respond and more desire generated by the variety. If there are more responses, then there's more incentive to post IA/IH/IX articles and greater creativity fostered by the feedback. Contribution begets contribution. So while explaining how the Liber has changed through the years is truly insightful and I'm happy to know more about it now, saying we wished there was more activity in the Liber can really only be met with one logical response: Let's do it!

 

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#32
Daimyo-Phaeron Lenoch

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I had the honor (and...dubious pleasure) of having NightRawenII ripping my initial Iron guantlet background to shreds, specifically, my chapter fleet. While i didn't like it much, the hard kick in the :cuss  that he gave me did cause me to do some research and rethink some of the more outrageous parts of my article. 

 

But help from the likes of Lord Thørn were more soft-spoken and considerate, and gave me food for thought.

 

I feel a mix is required; the people who deliver hard kicks in the :cuss to get thought moving and fluff-consistent (though if someone explicitly states they are looking to do a crack DiY maybe this first one isn't required), and the people who present interesting ideas you haven't thought of. 

 

I really needed both and that mix may be finally coming into the liber.

 

I may add more as I think of it.


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#33
Reyner

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Look on the bright side there aren't any power bowling balls flying about anymore :D

My favourite aspect of the Liber is the community activities - like the Liber Cluster and Eighteen Worlds Crusade. Or when we all pitched in to create an Index Astartes! Or the Typo War... Good times.
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#34
Machine God

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Ach! Interesting! I haven't noticed any of that. Is there a place in the B&C or even in the Liber for that, that I happend to miss?

 

More often than not you see it sprinkled among WIP threads in the AoD or Forge, but it has as much a place here in the Liber (Astartes if Legion, Imperialis if other) if someone wanted to concentrate upon the lore aspects. Though as yet unposted, my own 30k DIY work takes the shape of FW's HH format that I call Indices Legiones.

 

Yes mainly AoD, there are some IH Clans from the Heresy in this too:

 

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#35
Qkhitai

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My favourite aspect of the Liber is the community activities - like the Liber Cluster and Eighteen Worlds Crusade. Or when we all pitched in to create an Index Astartes! Or the Typo War... Good times.

 

I always had a soft spot for the Aegyptus Astartes. Frightening to think that it was 13 years ago (or that I've lurked that long...)



#36
Brother Tyler

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Isn't the point of the Liber for us to create pleasing fluff within the realms of possibilities set by 40k?


Not quite. The purpose of the Liber is to give members a place to discuss their DIYs. Usually this translates into the development of DIYs, but the Liber is not restricted to development. Development just happens to be the primary challenge for hobbyists both in regards to complexity and amount of work, so that's where most discussions are likely to focus.

Also, while most of us (and that definitely includes me) like to ensure that our DIYs work within the established lore as much as possible, that has never been a requirement here in the Liber (despite the desires of some of our members). So members are free to develop whatever silliness they want (and those of us that don't like the silliness don't have to participate in it).

When the B&C was first created, there was no place to discuss DIYs. The forums were each focused on official Chapters. Later, the Liber Astartes forum was created for DIYs, named for Kurgan the Lurker's website that provided a database of known Chapters, legions, etc. We've continued to expand the Liber with the site, most recently with the major growth of the Liber into multiple forums based on factions. Each has the same purpose, though each is focused on a different (meta) faction.
 

It also doesn't help that The Librarium went away, back when that was a goal to work towards.


Yes, the loss of the Librarium has definitely hurt. Interestingly enough, the Librarium came along long after the Liber Astartes was created, and the Liber Astartes did fine before the Librarium came along. In the meantime, we've mirrored some of the funtionality of the Librarium (as a repository of finished articles) via the Tabula Astartes and similar tabulae for other factions (speaking of which, I really need to create tabulae for our xenos forums). The "file" portion of each entry provides a link to the article on the Chapter/Legion/warband/craftworld/whatever. And members aren't limited to reviews of edits before they become public - since you're linking to your own topic, you can edit it as with any other discussion. So for those of you that need some external motivation to finish your DIY articles and present them to the public, please look at the tabulae.

Here are three of the DIYs that are linked in the Tabula Astartes (selected at random):

Of note:

  • The link to gil galed's Night Scorpions article was originally to a (now defunct) Librarium article. Fortunately, he'd posted the article externally, with permission to link, so I changed the Tabula Astartes file link just now.
  • Messor's Thornbacks discussion had been archived by the B&C software, so I unarchived it just now so that you can read the article.

As I get time, I'll go through all of the file links in the various tabulae to make sure that they are up to date, unarchiving those that need to be unarchived. In the meantime, if you see any that you know need to be updated, please post a reply in the relevant tabula.
 

Most of the old names are gone and most of the purpose we had here is gone.  Doesn't help we are so far into the basement now we may as well be underground we don't get the casual passers through anymore.  As hobbyists the Liberites were always a fickle and flighty bunch and now most dont even make it down here before they loose interest.

 
People coming and going is simply the nature of the Internet. I can think of several Ultramarines hobbyists from years ago that are no longer as active, or even active at all, and that forum's dynamic has evolved as a result. Every other forum here at the B&C goes through this. The Liber is no exception.

However, the purpose of the Liber is not "gone" by any stretch of the imagination. What has changed is the tone. Where criticism may have once been presented in a rough manner, as a community, we've learned that we can present the same critical content in a much more respectful manner. Also, we've adjusted to some concepts of lore malleability and changes/updates/expansions to the lore that have rendered much of the hard-line narrow interpretation lore pushed by members as obsolete. The 2nd Founding isn't limited as we once thought it was; loyal Chapters may have been created from Traitor Legions; your DIY doesn't have to mesh with official lore (if you don't want it to); etc.

As for the placement of the Liber in the B&C's order of forums, you can blame me for that since I'm the one that suggested the larger site structure. The fact is, someone has to be at/near the bottom; and with so much of the hobby being focused on the modeling/painting/playing and official organizations, putting the Liber and other lore-based forums at the bottom seemed only appropriate. For my own part, however, the Liber is one of the forums I visit every time I check the site (a reasonable counterpoint is that, as an Admin, I should probably be popping into every forum on a regular basis - but I'm talking about the visits where I check out the site strictly for my own personal enjoyment and not when I'm "on the job"). The way I see it, we'll always have a Liber, and those that are dedicated to it will find it no matter where we put it. As we've discussed for years, participating in the Liber takes work, so I see the minimal "work" of scrolling down to the bottom of the site as negligible for those that are dedicated to what we do here.


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#37
Servant of Dante

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I’ve been meaning to do some sort of work up on an Order Sabine (don’t have a name picked out yet) but making myself write is hard :D. Also the Liber Imperialis forum is quite inactive, and I even responded to the most recent thread there (though it took me a couple days since I don’t even check the Liber that often).

I’m not quite sure what the point of this post is, but I really liked Brother Tyler’s last post. It’s important to me that you should never tell someone they’re wrong with their DIY fluff, but that doesn’t mean you can’t point out the parts you don’t think fit.

Also, if anything does get posted in the Liber Imperialis, I’ll try to make sure I respond. Recently I’ve been checking the Liber fairly regularly, but I don’t feel like I have much to contribute to the Astartes discussion. If it’s about the Ministorum in any way though, I’m on it :D

#38
Marshal Rohr

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When you lost traits, you lost the mass impetus to create a fluid DIY that reflected your own personal army. Codex Liber articles were the exceptions and never the norms. Most posters ran with a True Grit or geneseed fluid chapter that could be space wolves as easily as dark angels. When traits disappears only the geneseed fluids needed lore cover to rules bend, and that shift slowly but surely damned the creative enterprises back to the realm of true role players and devoted story tellers. Codex chapters were a mark of DIY-er maturity as they progressed away from femmarine, 10,000 man chapters, and sharks with fricken laser beams. When 5th hit you had the resurgence of geneseed fluids but more fluff head butting, and then came Badab which provided more ideas for DIYs but less rules to sink into, making most endeavors shallow and they didn’t last beyond the next rules edition of codex space marines. Some people, like Hyaenidae, made the Heresy the new Liber, but it’s hard to press on during the interregnum between black books.

Point being, the Liber was at its busiest when people wanted to cover rules for their chapters. The Librarium gave people a goal which extended their interest in tuning their chapters (what was the most common refrain back in the day? Help me get this librarium ready). I distinctly remember you arguing with Octavulg a fair amount over whether or not one of you chapters needed to be revised or if it was sufficiently different enough to make another entry, etc. Badab was a crutch but petered out when the rules dried up. Now everyone is some flavor of first Founding, or just bounces between them with no real ‘official’ drive to explain why their gray marines are sneaky today and blow up tabks tomorrow or even worship chaos. It’s always been there, sure, but we’ve swung the DIY pendulum all the way back.

Also, smart phones and Instagram. People can’t read massive walls of text on phones, and phones are the most common way people can check the forum during the day. Liber criticism requires you to stop and focus to respond. Instagram is where all the cool kids are moving their logs and frankly it’s a much better medium for showcasing conversions, and people can steal photos willy-nilly for themat dopamine rush of like notifications (a very real phenomenon on IG). People can’t steal ideas on the Liber as easily because everyone knows from where the font of brilliance flows. There’s a reason you only ever see one version of the Castigators, because if someone tried to pawn them off as their creation the Liber would know the original.

Edited by Marshal Rohr, 26 November 2017 - 02:52 AM.

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Your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.

 

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#39
Octavulg

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I'm going to engage in a bit of light threadomancy because damn it, I'm entitled. Such are the rewards of being ancient. Settle in now, children, for I shall tell you many long and rambling tales. And then you shall agree with me. Just like the good old days. Alternately, you will tell me I am wrong. So it goes. If you’ve missed me, now you get to know where I’ve been. If you haven’t missed me, you probably shouldn’t read this. It will only upset you.


 

I think there are three major sources of change that I think have resulted in the way things are. Changes in 40K, changes in people, and changes in the Liber/the board.


 

A quick note about the Librarium, before I get into those, though. Since people are bringing it up: the Librarium suffered greatly from a lack of clear vision and leadership. Reviewing long-ago discussions from the internal Librarium board about what appropriate standards would or would not be with the benefit of ten years of further thought and experience, I am comfortable saying that it was not possible for it to do what everyone expected it to do. It was not good at serving as any sort of ultimate goal, doing so was probably incompatible with its original principles, and under the circumstances it is probably better gone. Sad, but true.


 

The irony of me saying this given that I am possibly the last Lexicanum is not lost on me. :P Anyway! On to the other stuff.


 

Changes in 40K

GW used to do one thing very, very well. I found they did it less and less as time went by. They used to encourage you to take parts of the universe and expand on them. As part of this, there was a LOT of scope for DIY chapters. There were a massive number of DIY schemes in the 3e space marine codex. I don’t think any since has had as many – indeed, each following that has had less and less. It makes a good metaphor – the empty spaces in the game where you could fill in the blanks yourself have, on paper, remained as large or larger. But the implicit encouragement to actually do it has dropped.


 

Then you add in the Horus Heresy, which shifted a LOT of attention onto the Heresy and pre-Heresy eras, where there’s naturally less scope for the Liber. The Heresy era also resulted in changes in the fluff, and was expensive if you bought all the books. Indeed, major changes to the fluff became pretty regular. And the books are even more expensive than they used to be, which is saying something. The general rise of the Black Library is also a problem. More and more of the fluff is now about the major characters described in novels and what they do there. The focus feels like it’s very far away from whatever my chapters are doing. Not to mention that the intelligence of a lot of the new changes was definitely debatable. Hell, a lot of the newest stuff reads as a checklist of “things people used to gripe about being hinted at in the fluff and were told they were overreacting.”


 

So basically, DIYs stopped being encouraged, and the context of the 40K universe changed a lot. It cost a lot to keep up, and actually keeping up gave you the dubious privilege of consuming stuff and trying to work with stuff that was...not exactly great. Working to make a DIY in a universe that isn’t interesting and which keeps feeling like an uncreative moneygrab is not fun. Especially when it feels less and less like what you created is actually part of that universe. As a rule, when hobbies stop being fun, people stop doing them.


 

Changes in people

I’m busy. I work a lot and I live somewhere with even less of a 40K community than I used to have. On top of that, I find each passing edition to be less and less interesting from an actual “playing the game” perspective. Looking at 8th edition, I am reminded that 1980s game design had some real strengths, and am intrigued by how GW continually doubles down on all the weaknesses while missing all those strengths. The games I do enjoy are older, no longer supported, half-retconned, and I have to provide all the pieces. Not exactly compatible with being busy. I still like a LOT of stuff about 40K. But the bad definitely started to outweigh the good a long time ago for me.


 

This is, BTW, most of the reason I am no longer around.


 

Changes in the Liber

Browsing through the front pages of the Liber and this thread, there seems to be both a shortage of new content being posted and a shortage of feedback being provided on it. I think that stems from two things.


 

Shortage of content

As others have mentioned, the IA series was a long time ago. And focus has shifted. And the cool kids post on Instagram. And the kind of people who make serious DIY articles probably aren’t as common in the fanbase as they once were. All of that together would lead to fewer DIY chapters. Personally, I always liked discussing the fluff and developing people’s ideas. I never was as keen on the group projects. Not sure why. Probably their oft-noted tendency to break down into half-finished chaos. That seems to be a lot of what’s in the Liber now, and while I admire the work involved it’s not something I’m as interested in myself. I’m not sure why.


 

The Liber also suffers a bit from the inability to be much more than an idea showcase. Most discussions that are common in other forums don’t work in the Liber, because they’re based on things that the chapters in those forums have in common. The Liber doesn’t work that way – discussions that make sense in the DA or UM forums do not make sense here because most of the people posting don’t have any investment in the topic. Sad but true. So the Liber ends up working like the painting forums, but less popular.


 

Shortage of feedback

Others have touched on this, so I will as well. Things don’t work quite the way they used to. Once upon a time, people complained the Liber was mean and told them what to do (the thread Conn cites is a good example. Please note my comment in it about how someone brought up the same complaint every few months or so). There was some truth to that (though never as much as people claimed there was). And so we pushed back against that. We were right to do so. I did it myself at various times. But the problem with “leave people alone to do what they want” is that it leads to people being left alone to do as they want. Rightly or wrongly, you’re not going to get as many people providing feedback if you dedicate significant effort to telling them that the author’s creation is more important than their enjoyment of that creation.


 

I will quote Ace here:

The Old Liber bred this atmosphere...that if somebody didn't like part of your work, they were 'right' and you had to change it. That's certainly how it always felt to me, so that's what I always tried to do.


 

People often forgot the second part of that: if I don’t like part of your work, I am right and you have to change it if you want me to be happy with it. And it was an extremely good idea to push back against the idea that the happiness of the Liber denizens with your idea was the most important thing. But from a community perspective, why the hell is anyone going to hang around a forum and read stuff when they have been told their opinions about the stuff don’t really matter and aren’t what the forum’s about? Why are people going to offer their opinions when they’ve been implicitly told their opinions aren’t important? Answer: they may not, unless they enjoy providing feedback purely for its own sake, without any desire to invest in what they’re reading. And that’s a LOT rarer.


 

Note that this is not necessarily bad. A cliquish Liber that tries to force everyone to adhere to their standards is a bad thing. But it’s harder to have a community if the community isn’t invested in each other’s ideas and isn’t as concerned about working toward a shared version of those ideas. And it’s harder to get invested in an idea if you’re surrounded by reminders that what you think about the idea isn’t important. The shift in attitudes Conn points out (which had begun before then in any case – I KNOW I complained about people being mean to new posters in the first version of the Octaguide, and I think that was in 2009) changed the tone of the community, and that leading to a change in the behaviour of the community is unsurprising.

 

You have to care about something to consistently post lengthy critiques and provide lots of feedback. And it's harder to care about something if you are constantly telling yourself that your opinion about it doesn't really matter that much. Which is a lot easier for people to do then get really invested in a work but not strangle the author when they do something stupid. :P


In which I say the above may be meaningless

THAT said, the Old Liber often encountered this problem of a lack of feedback. I still recall several times over the years where I went through the first two or three pages of the Liber providing feedback on stuff that no one else was providing feedback on. Which meant pretty much everything except two or three threads. Most of the feedback in the Liber has usually come from only a few people at any one time. Whether the Liber’s not getting as many new people providing vast volumes of critique as it used to because of the shift in focus is probably not knowable. Even if it were knowable, and even if it were true, I’m not sure it’s actually bad. Just different. Frankly, I remember the old days, and they were filled with people parroting received wisdom. And I remember what happened when you provided feedback on thirty threads – two or three replied, tops. It probably isn't because everyone is deep in the throes of apathy.

 

 

But just in case it is: your opinion is important, and someone posting here probably does care what you think. You should go tell them. Remember that it really hurts to come up with an idea you care about and have no one else care. Go care about something and tell them what you think. Now. Think of what it would have meant to you when you were young.


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#40
Dolchiate Remembrancer

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Thank you for that post. I for one hope you decide to return feedback in the liber as some of us would love to push back on your opinions with our own.

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#41
Reyner

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Blast from't past right there Octavulg himself! 


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#42
Ace Debonair

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I'm going to engage in a bit of light threadomancy because damn it, I'm entitled. Such are the rewards of being ancient. Settle in now, children, for I shall tell you many long and rambling tales. And then you shall agree with me. Just like the good old days.


By the Throne, that is just like the old days. laugh.png

 

Welcome back, by the way.
 



#43
Dosjetka

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Despite the setbacks, the disappearence/retirement of prominent Liberites, the lore changes, etc. there are two fundamental things that the Liber needs to survive: people who have ideas and want to share them, and people who are ready to read and offer constructive criticism.
Right now, there's a relatively steady flow of the former and a regrettable and very noticeable lack of the latter.
It's great to sit around and reminisce about what once was but in the meantime, if you're keen to restore some of the Liber's former glory, roll up your sleeves and give people some feedback on their DIYs.
If you're not ready to get your hands dirty, there's little point in commenting about the current state of the Liber as that does not help anyone with their DIYs.
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#44
Brother Argent

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Well said there Dos and I must admit I am more then a little guilty of not offering critique these days.  I do find, however, that when comments are made they are often ignored as what my ideas are don't mesh with the creators.  Which is good, honestly.  I would rather the author be true to their own idea then what other people read into their article.  But it is also counter productive to the idea of the Liber.  So, at the end of the day, who is going to want to comment when their words fall on deaf ears.  Its very much a catch 22 situation.  People want to share their ideas but not hear what others think unless it is along the same lines as what their idea already is.

 

That is, I suppose, the very reason the Liber has become what it has and I for one have no answer to the issue.  If indeed it is an issue at all and rather just a re-creation of what the Liber was to what it is now.  Perhaps it hasn't "fallen" at all but is just different to what it was and us old Liberites just find we no longer fit in the Liber that is over the Liber that was.

 

Just my thoughts and, like my wife loves to remind me, I am probably wrong.  I'm just a grumpy old Reclusiarch sitting in the corner reminiscing on his "Glory days" through rose tinted glasses.


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#45
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I do mean to spend more time here. But between rewriting my own IA, writing lore, writing for WoL, building models, staring at paint in the hope it'll apply itself to models, actually playing games and working (a most unwelcome loss of vital 40K time) I really struggle to fit it all in.


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#46
Grey Hunter Ydalir

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So after just returning to the Liber to undertake my own finishing up of one of my IA's, I think I can add my two cents.

 

The Librarium disappearing to me was a killing blow, and I'll handily argue with anyone on this count. The liber may have been around before the Librarium, but saying it was fine before you introduced something, then removed it is dense. The introduction of the Librarium as an end-goal changed the game. Removing it killed that game outright. Whether it was well-implemented is another question entirely. Yes forum positioning to drive passing traffic also doesn't help, but I'd point the finger at the B&C's almost pathological catering to minis, even to the extent of excluding the lore completely, which I think is back asswards.

 

That attitude is getting the cart before the horse, you're not going anywhere quick without the lore to contextualize the models you create. Without the lore the B&C wouldn't even be called the bloody Bolter and Chainsword, for pete's sake. It'd just be yet another faceless, featureless image board that clutters the net with boring cookie cutter rubbish. I'm not implying the Liber should be at the top per se (I think it should, but I'm not everyone), but I don't think it should be hidden. When I first came to the B&C I actually stumbled across the Liber being linked to from somewhere else, to which I then couldn't immediately find it on a return visit.

 

I like to fight so I tend to get into a fighters mindset when I comment. Ace tends to balance me out with good humor! Ah well, I digress...

 

 

Really, this post is a bit of a rant, where Octavulg hit the nail on the head, as he is wont to do, and I agree with him one-hundred percent on just about all of it.

 

 

I genuinely dislike the attitude towards the 'old liber', though I won't touch on too much more of it here as I've just written and deleted about four different paragraphs in a row after unconsciously adopting the above mentioned mentality. It's essentially navel gazing through hindsight and it's disappointing to see and largely hypocritical. The attitude is overall one of superiority over the 'elitists' and 'gatekeepers' that they never agreed with, or disagree with now in hindsight. I've got nothing personal against anyone here, I'm not attacking anyone, but I'll call it like I see it, a spade is a spade to me.

 

Not all of us were independent thinking icons of the board like Octavulg, but the main spread of us tried to apply a bit of common sense and good writing to be introduced to people that may never have had to flex any sort of narrative muscles at all in their life up until then. I know I tended to assimilate what I agreed with and then repeated it back to others. Absolutely, but that's also part of learning there Octy, parroting notwithstanding. The difference is if you're told something then immediately turn around and blast someone else with it without understanding it fully yourself.

 

Conflict and competition are good, within reason and within boundaries. A good kick up the arse is required for everyone and anyone from time to time. If you are so fragile of ego that you can't handle some criticism, don't leave your house. If anyone mentions safe spaces as we go on I think I'll have a conniption.

 

 

As for the Liber today, I'll totally agree with the sentiments put forward that reading and commenting on narrative works like IA's takes a hell of a lot more time and effort than other formats and as such the Liber has always been a relatively slow board. As for myself there are a couple of limiting factors, the main one being time. I only have so much time to browse this forum and it isn't consistent day to day.

If my kids get in the way, it could be a wash. Depending where I'm working it could either be having the time to reply or comment like today, or I could be physically ejecting someone with all the fun that entails (I do enjoy it, but it can be harrowing at times). Those combinations are the kind that vary wildly and these apply equally to everyone, everyone has limited time.

 

Thus is introduced the second and arguably, the X factor for commenting here, interest. I may only have half an hour to read, or have it be unpredictable. If your work doesn't hook me with something fascinating, amusing, intriguing or well-written, I'm not going to waste my time on it. It's not personal, it's nothing except time management. We come this way but once and my kids arguably come first, then my wife, then work, etc. I treat this forum the way I treat the rest of my life. If it's unnecessary to my work or my life and I have no interest in it, I'll not waste what is the most valuable thing in my life, my time.

 

Again, none of this is personal in any way, it's just how I operate these days. Without any sort of community goals to drive the people in the Liber, I have no other incentive to comment. Is it cold? Probably, I don't see it that way but I can see how it could be taken that way.

 

This is a forum for one to showcase your work. It's not a comment on you personally. I either take an interest in your work, or I don't. It's as simple as that.

 

Ok I didn't intend to keep rolling for this long. I might cut myself off here and see what others have to say, as I'm getting toward repeating myself in a couple of places, which usually means I've said my point, but then say it again because I've gotten some kind of emotional investment in what I'm saying, which I really need to curb.


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-Silver Phoenix


#47
Brother Argent

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Dude... Dude, your back.  I was only just talking about you and Captain Coenwahl I did for your the last DIY Swap the other day.  So good to see you back around these parts, as little as I come down here. I see you still have a quote from me in your sig, though I can't remember when I would have even posted something so... profound? (I've had a few name swaps since then.  Eternal but ever changing I guess)

 

I don't have much to say on what you have said (apart from things I've already said) other then I agree on the time thing.  I have 4.5 kids these days so that hour and a half I get of free time of a night isn't going to be as dedicated to peoples IA's as I'd like.  I wish I could offer the sort of critiques that once went around these halls but I just don't have the time to do so.

 

Anyway, great to see you back and hope to see the Blazing Suns or perhaps something else in the near future...


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#48
Grey Hunter Ydalir

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Dude... Dude, your back.  I was only just talking about you and Captain Coenwahl I did for your the last DIY Swap the other day.  So good to see you back around these parts, as little as I come down here. I see you still have a quote from me in your sig, though I can't remember when I would have even posted something so... profound? (I've had a few name swaps since then.  Eternal but ever changing I guess)

 

I don't have much to say on what you have said (apart from things I've already said) other then I agree on the time thing.  I have 4.5 kids these days so that hour and a half I get of free time of a night isn't going to be as dedicated to peoples IA's as I'd like.  I wish I could offer the sort of critiques that once went around these halls but I just don't have the time to do so.

 

Anyway, great to see you back and hope to see the Blazing Suns or perhaps something else in the near future...

 

 

Holy Throne it's like a Christmas get together, I keep seeing people come out of the woodwork whenever I post and it's quite heartening to see.

 

I do have a new crack at the Sons in the Liber, but it only just passed the first bullet point stage so far, I've yet to have the time to really dedicate to working my brain around getting to the next stage, but if I hang around here long enough it'll play on my mind and I'll get it done. Probably with some prodding from everyone else.

 

Good to see you're still around!

 

I'm sure you've said many more profound things since then. Or maybe you're like me and kids ate your brain a while ago.

 

I remember Captain Coenwahl. I'll have to make a mental note to include him in the new draft!


The Octaguide.
The Thousand Marine Myth.

On the scale mismatch of bolts and bolters by Coldfyre

Commissar Molotov's Castigators - Essential reading for IA Creation.

"...I have seen the birth of this world and I have seen its death. I walked with the first men and I shared a beer with the last. For me everyone is both old and young at the same time as a million lifetimes pass before my eyes and humanity is like the grains of sand in the desert, each breath to me a sigh in the vast never-ending vacumn of space."
-Silver Phoenix


#49
Sergeant Lowe

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I've noticed that a lot of the traffic that used to be on forums like B&C is now being done in Facebook groups


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