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History of Total War Center

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Overview

The Total War Center forums have a long and rich history, much of which can be traced back within the threads of the Curia. What follows is a summary of the major events in the site and forums history.

Note: Some of the former Administrators or Staff members of TWC have created accounts of their times at the site,

More historical content can be found within the Curia's Living History Forum.

Origins

TWC was originally created by Emperor Paul Dacoste and co-founded by The Knight 2100, under the name mtw.gamercastle.com. When GamerCastle closed in 2003 it became the Total War Centre (note English spelling of name!) and moved to an independent server, www.legiontotalwar.com in April 2003.

2003

Early Days

The first year of independent existence was a quiet time for the site. It remained a small cozy and largely unnoticed community. It was known for being a haven of intellectual debate, and liberal moderation, at a time when larger fansites, notably the official boards and The Org were employing increasingly harsh policies. The intellectualism of the site attracted members away from larger boards where deep and informed debates were often interrupted or hijacked by what is referred to as n00bish posting. TWC's growth was slow during this time, but saw rapid rise as new administrative staff were brought in.

The First and Second Triumvirate

As real life issues increasingly detracted from the time Paul Dacoste was able to devote to running the site, its two moderators, Juan Siblesz (aka Siblesz) and Aden Lucas (aka the Black Prince) were given admin status and tasked with reforming and rejuvenating the site. Together with Paul, they formed an administrative Triumvirate. The biggest success of their leadership was the illegal hosting of video recordings of the BBC2 and Lion TV Production "Time Commanders". This show used the engine for Rome Total War, which was unreleased at the time, to recreate historical battles that teams of ordinary people could fight in in a Total War Style. As the show was unavailable in the US, there was great demand for images and recordings of it. Several British members of TWC made these available to the admin staff, which hosted them on TWC's server, and advertised this fact around the wider community. By the end of the first season of Time Commanders, TWC was one of only 2 websites providing the content, and greatly increased its membership because of this. It brought the website to the forefront of the community, though this also resulted it attracting the wrath of Creative Assembly and threats of legal action over copyright issues.

Due to increasing conflicts in administrative style between Juan and Aden, and continuing prolonged absence of Paul, a third member was brought on board to assist in the running of the site. Boris Pavlov Grozny was another long standing member of the community and invited to take the job as the third member of the Triumvirate. This Second Trium represents the start of a golden age at TWC where the perfect balance between community size, popularity content and moderation was established. The Three admins divided the duties of running the site between them, with Juan dealing with website and technical issues, Aden running the forum itself, and having overall charge of moderation, and Boris arbitrating any issues between them, as well as overseeing a new concept on the site - The Curia (see elsewhere)

To summarise briefly, Boris wrote and created a Constitution for the site, known as the Syntagma, and a place called the Curia, which was to be the home of all Syntagma related issues. They also created an additional class of members known as Civitates who represented the most respected members of the site. The key idea behind the concept was that all members would be bound by the Syntagma, including the staff, and that the Civitates, through a form of democracy within the Curia, would have say over how the site was run. The first example of such input was the creation of a Signature and Avatar Policy by the Curia. Increasing conflict arose between Boris and Aden over the exact nature and implementation of the Syntagma, with Boris eventually resigning his post citing administrative conflicts with the "bureaucratic nature" of Aden. This proved to be the first step toward the forum Civil War.

2004

Civil War

February 2004.

The First Civil War may have been the biggest misunderstanding in the forum's history. Prior to the civil war, Siblesz had been paying for server space using Paul's name on the server formerly used to host legiontotalwar. It was known that with the increasing size of the site and time on the server lease rapidly running out, purchasing a new server to host the site would be costly. Thus, Paul began talks with some friends at Revolution Gaming, with the aim of acquiring space to host TWC in time for when the site's current lease expired, which was to be in April of 2004. But in February of 2004, the current server crashed, TWC went down, and the civil war was instigated. The entire event occurred because a server maintenance email was sent to Paul, not to Juan, and therefore no one who was active realised the server would be temporarily down for 3 days. When Siblesz and tBP realised the server had gone down, they thought it was the end of the world. That was the first of many mistakes.

Each adopted different strategies for dealing with it. Siblesz attempted to get in contact with the hosts to find out what had happened, the Black Prince and Trobalov, with help from Siblesz, speeded up negotiations with Nox of Revolution Gaming. The staff had known the server rent would end in April, and they didn't have the funds to renew, thus the talks with RevolutionGaming, to provide hosting for the Forum. While Siblesz was attempting to get in touch with the current hosts, with a mind towards at least recovering the database, the Black Prince and Trobalov were working on the basis that the Forum could not be restored and that they would have to start from scratch. Nox set them up with a server, uploaded invision on to it, and the Black Prince set about re-creating the forum structure.

"What caused the civil war? Communications… pure and simply a total breakdown of communications and misinterpretations of what everyone was doing." -Chronicles of the Black Prince

With the creation of the new site, however, many problems were set in motion that would bring about the civil war. The administrator group was given the name of Imperator rather than Triumvirate. As a result, Boris, Nick, and Siblesz interpreted this as the Black Prince seizing power, since he was the user responsible for the rebuilding of the site. Yet Trobalov also had this title, as would Siblesz if he ever signed up to the new site. A Curia was also not included in the new site, with the reason given that the new site was to have only a small core of members, none of whom could be Civitates. A small group of members cannot be Civitates because of the lack of quoracy, which the Syntagma requires. Once the site grew, a Curia would then be added to the forums. Boris, Nick, and Siblesz objected to this notion, and other staff members were brough into the argument, told that the Black Prince was attempting to take over TWC.

Three days after the original site went down, server maintenance was completed and the old site reappeared. However, the war continued when a friend of the Black Prince's logged on the the server, and deleted the site's details. Siblez and Boris automatically assumed that it was the Black Prince who was behind the incident, and he was removed from the staff, and even attempted to be banned.


2005

- Please Help the TWC Wiki by expanding this section.

The control of the site fell to Siblesz, who was eventually too busy and perhaps too tired with operating TWC to continue. TWC became a part of Ogre's Network, a collective of gaming sites. While the network admins had great agency and would stop in sometimes to do technical work, they typically deferred daily operations to a more local head admin, titled Imperator. Sulla was the Imperator for much of 2005, until the title fell to HorseArcher.

Hacker Attacks

- Please Help the TWC Wiki by expanding this section.

This needs a concise summary of what exactly Spartan did.

Dec Panel

- Please Help the TWC Wiki by expanding this section.

2006

Grimsta's Article

-see main article: The Helios

GrimSta's Polticial Helios edition happened back in January 06. It was an article featuring an interview with Belisarius which included a large attack on Simetrical. Simetrical Posted a reply, but things soon got escalated as a group of members led by Belisarius pushed for Sim's resignation from staff and as Pro-Curator. This failed as most civs voted in support of Sim. some now believe the whole incident was started by Bel for his own ends.

Not long after this, GrimSta and Lusted posted the Silly Party thread to lighten the mood. In keeping with its title, it was a very silly thread, including the Brussel sprout assassination squad. [1]

April Fools

For April Fools in 2006 the staff decided to play a joke. The idea was to pretend a hated ex-moderator Crandar had returned and was returning to staff to deal with excessive trolling and rule breaking.

The joke involved the resignation of several staff members, staff members flaming each other (knowing it was a joke), and mass hysteria in the Curia. The joke was eventually revealed by Justinian

Passport Incident

Archer gave Ferrets54 a temporary passport into the Curia. He came up with the idea of Curia Passport, a temporary gift of powers to a member where they could post in the Curia, when they normally could not. However he did not propose this and make it law. Many Civitates saw this as an abuse of power, however Archer argued the Syntagma did not in fact forbid him from taking these actions[2]. The motive behind this was, of course to give Ferrets54 the ability to enter a discussion entirely about him. Discussing the legality of his past ostrakon, and various things pertaining to it. This, as said, was met with the belief that he was abusing his powers, and a small outcry occurred. [3] During this time Mithras came to TWC and stated he would delete the Curia (in staff) if people objected to Archer's will.

The Reforms

Mithras threatens to take away staff elections. This resulted in an uprising of sorts in the Curia which was swiftly calmed by staff. The staff, realising the citizenship was becoming a problem to the survival of the Curia, produced a new Syntagma which would result in the removal of all citizens but a select few from the Curia. Although this had general opposition, three of the then (and future Patricians) Perikles, Silver Guard and Tostig, spent over a week debating down opposition to the reforms, which eventually occurred in September. The citizens were removed, and a panel of ex-moderators and automatic Patricians was produced to elect new Patricians (one of the first incarnations of the CdeC). Amongst these were curialists, the best modders and the Patrician elitists (amongst them Perikles, Silver Guard and Tostig) who had pushed so hard for the reforms. Perikles later took part in the counter-reform, Tostig left the board and Silver Guard (Now Eclipse SG) maintained his position throughout.

Staff Rebellion

Total War Center History
The Sale of the Site

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

-see main article: Staff Rebellion

The so called "Staff Rebellion" (or October plot) was an unsuccessful request by the Staff to try and make HorseArcher resign from his position as Site Admin. This event took place from October 12 to October 14.

Besim Returns

-see main article: The Besim Episode

Besim was a Network Administrator from Ogres Net the owners of the site. He is one of the most controversial figures in the sites history, taking many decisions that were unpopular such as hiding the Curia from general view and banning Professor420. This took place while the sale of the site and the identity of the buyer was in question, prompting many to question his motives.

The Sale of the Site

-see main article: The Purchase

The period from January 16, 2007 until January 20, 2007 was a period of great turmoil at TWC. Archer has resigned a few days before and Hex were selecting a new leader. The on the 16th Richard the Lionheart was appointed Administrator of the forums by the Ogre. A series of events culminating in a full scale rebellion forced Ogre to sell the site to imb39.

2007

On January 21, 2007 imb39 bought Total War Center from Ogre of Ogre's Network, this brought to an end the disruption and troubles of TWC and the members united behind the new administration to take the site into a new era.

New Constitution

The new Syntagma or Constitution passed on March 04, 2007. It increased the ties between the Staff and Curia while leaving the Curia unable to edit any sections of the Constitution relating to these ties. The Curia gained the ability to ratify all moderating staff and elect one Hex member and the Curator. It retained the Community Medals system, Hex Committees and Curial Officers.

April Fools Day

For April Fools Day 2007 the staff decided on a Barbie theme which was created by Professor420 and Simetrical. The theme had a number of people fooled after it was announced in this thread, but soon most people had caught on to the joke.

2007-2023

- Please Help the TWC Wiki by expanding this section, including with appropriate years and more complete text content. As evidenced by the janky layout, this section is under construction.

2007-2009

Beginnning 2007 and into the start of the 2010s, TWC had entered a "high period" of traffic and interest. Its daily peak membership was in the thousands; although this was surpassed later, the highest averages of late are attributed to spam attack attempts.

2010 Staff Reform

In mid 2010, the distinction between Senior Moderators and Junior Moderators was removed, this was combined into the Moderation staff and their name was recoloured blue.

Moderation Mentors have been around since 2006: any good experienced moderator became a mentor for a new moderator. This process was made more public in Mid 2010 when the Senior Moderator group was removed and their last members made official 'Moderation Mentors'.

To be integrated

Assorted events to be written out properly:

  • Inauguration of TWC Wiki (some time in 2007)
  • Sale of the site to Garbarsardar (sep 2008), then to GrnEyedDvl (official jan 2012)


Total Warcast

Total Warcast was a content publication active in the very early 2010s, discussing the various happenings of Total War Center and the Total War franchise and including the voices of many users who are notable in TWC history. The podcasts are listed here at Podomatic; a single episode is known to have also been posted on Youtube.

2013-2017

Rome 2's launch was a pivotal, and controversial turning point. Though Empire Total War had its detractors, the games up to Shogun II still commanded substantial activity. The poor launch of Rome 2 was the hottest topic of TWC for its day, and arguably one of the points contributing to the site's downturn in traffic. However even before this, Steam and other sites were creating tools that attracted to newer generations of player. Fewer mods would launch on TWC and this had become a new reality for the site to tackle. TWC, once the center of traffic for the series, would begin to see its dominating market share as a fansite erode and the attention of Creative Assembly wane.

Assorted events:

2018-2023

The past half decade so can be measured as years of decline, marked with attempts to change the trajectory and the steady erosion of all parts of the site as staffers, administrators, branches of staff and the wider membership have begun to disappear despite periods in which old members of the site have returned to check on what's changed.

Assorted events:

  • The creation and abolition of Modding Staff (circ. 2018 to a few years after)
  • The Hotseating crisis (early 2018)
  • The Tribunal crisis (2022) 1 2
  • Site future, attempted purchase(s) and an ill-fated fork

Visual History

See Also

Personal accounts of history

These articles, typically written on TWC and then transported to the wiki, reflect the opinions of their authors at the time of writing (typically, 2006-2007).

External Links



Total War Center Information: The Total War Center | Terms of Service | FAQ
TWC Staff Hexagon Council | Content Staff | Gaming Staff | Moderation Staff | Technical Staff | Tribunes
Content Areas The Writers' Study | The Graphics Workshop | The Eagle Standard | Gamer's Gazette | The Helios | The Scriptorium | TWC News
Medals and Awards Curia Awards | Hexagon Council Awards | Site Service Awards | Special Contribution Awards | Site Awards: Members' Awards, Modding Awards | Contest Awards
Citizenship List of Citizens | Houses of TWC | The Constitution | The Curia: Curial Officers, Magistrates
History of TWC History of the Syntagma | Old Syntagma | Triumvirates on TWC | Modding Staff | Personal Perspectives
Other TWC Information: Mod Register | TWC Downloads | User Badges | Forum Overviews | TWC Blogs | TWC Discord
Other Wiki Sections: Total War Series | Total War Mods | Modding Portal | TWC Wiki


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