Hello, members. I don't wish to put a large and needless introduction to a subject I regard very important, so let me be concise: This is my view on some problems with the current situation in here, and a few suggestions aimed towards the “revival” of CS-Frag as a populated social and gaming community.
The admins are currently considering steering the community towards other games, apart from Counter-Strike. If that happens, the name “CS-Frag” will no longer be representative of what the community really is about. I know this may disturb some old players, but we should also move away from the EUFrag legacy in terms of the name. Many people that are members today started playing CS:S in EUFrag, which once had a large and diverse playerbase, much like a few other servers in other communities do nowadays. The staff team understandably attempted to respect the legacy around EUFrag, so a newer, fresher and more modern version of EUFrag, called CS-Frag, was born. In this way though, the community remained clinged on to the past, to a large degree. This condition made it difficult to strive forward, expand into other game modes (or even entire new games completely), and generally hindered the growth of the community as a whole. The name change, if it becomes a reality, should definitely be accompanied by a graphical overhaul, where a new, cohesive and consistent theme could be established, with matching artwork, banners, logos, style, a new tagline, among other additions.
Suggestion: Make a poll to change the name; everyone can propose a name, and the name voted by most users will be accepted.
PROMOTION & ADVERTISING
A community is, well, a community. In the sense that the well-being of a “total” depends on the vital connection between individual “parts” to succeed. CS-Frag is the total. Members and players are the parts. It was decided to end promotion a while ago in order to decrease expenses. Quite possibly, one of the reasons behind this was that promotion wasn't returning its cost as a profit for the community. One of the major points in the revival of CS-Frag is to get more traffic; both in the forums and the servers. The servers need to be regularly monitored and moderated, the “hard edges” polished and some functions reworked. More players equals more work for the staff team, but in the end there's an great reward following this collective endeavor. Let's all help bring more people close together in a new, reimagined and refined community, and let's start by letting them know we're here and we're active. Server promotion is the best way to do that, as well as socialization and advertising through media platforms.
As a next statement, all Source game servers need to become Steam-only, this can ensure a better-quality playerbase, and as a result, more enjoyable experience for everyone. Sure, the non-steam users do count as visitors in the servers, and they do leave stats behind when they play. But they don't stick around, they don't care, don't know - and don't want to know - about the game. They're just “passers-by” for our community. I used to be a non-steamer when I started playing in EUFrag, and due to that I would support the idea of allowing non-steam users to participate equally with steam players. But I've changed my mind since then, as I understood the true benefits of a steam-only server versus an open one, and I urge everyone to try and understand as well. In the light of this revision of the community’s goals and objectives, it is unwanted for the servers to depend on passer-by players, in order to keep running. We need loyal, trustworthy, skilled and honest players. As such, steam-only restrictions must be imposed.
SOCIALIZING & PUBLICITY
Like the re-initialization of server promotion, as mentioned above, exposure in social media is a great way to inform players about the community and bring more of them to it. Today is the internet age. It is free, huge, global and extremely powerful, if it's used for our benefit. Platforms we could expand on include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc. Following are some suggestions about those online platforms, about the image that CS-Frag can present and the paths we could take to increase player traffic towards the servers.
YouTube: A channel about the community could be created, moderated by the staff team, but with access by other content creators and gaming YouTubers who are determined to help grow our community. Since CS-Frag is mostly about gaming, and games are among the top trending subjects on YouTube nowadays, we could take advantage of that and give players insight into the type of people we are, the events we organize and the connections we develop with each other.
Facebook: There is actually an EUFrag facebook group, but at the current state it is merely a list of profiles and names, it is not alive and active. Close to 2 billion users use facebook every month, and among those who use it to socialize with friends and family, there's definitely a good chunk of users who are part of gaming groups or are looking to join a gaming group. The facebook group could be reworked, with more info, hotlinks and announcements pointing to the events taking place in the community. The same things apply to twitter, via the creation of a community account, and even, later on, a subreddit. Though the last option may seem a little pointless since the forums are already readily available to discuss issues and solve problems.
Steam Group: The CS-Frag steam group (and the older EUFrag group) are largely unused. The older outdated EUFrag group could be deleted, with an invitation sent to those older members so they can join the new, active group. The group should also be renamed, if a name change is to actually occur.
CS-Frag has lasted through time, despite backlashes, obstacles and sharp changes. It is time to upgrade, and do something new, better and stronger. To build upon what we have accomplished, not as individual players, as singular people behind a computer screen, but as a union. If this “thing” is real, and it happens, you can contribute to it. Everyone can, and everyone should. Suggestions, discussion and thoroughly considered decisions for change are a prime candidate for success.
We've been out of focus for too long, people! It's about time we do something about it and show the world what a tightly-bonded group of gamers is really capable of. I'm certain that if you like the community, in all its aspects, and if you consider those servers your second home, then you'll definitely be positive and excited about such an improvement project.