Unless it beats me to the punch and happens in the midst of me writing this post, or no one cares about my opinions any more, either one sucks.
So as I'm sure everyone is aware, there's going to be a new website update coming in the very to near future. The notes given in the linked post were quite informative, and although I haven't read the comments, I do assume that the same old people are arguing with the same other old people about how this move will "doom BYOND forever" and "make everyone leave" or something to that effect. Undoubtedly with the normal retorts blah blah - let's skip all that.
// BEGIN MINI-RANT Skip.
There's one consistent feeling I do get when I read the naysayers points of view on this update though. For some reason, I can't shake the feeling that they seem to think the hub is an entitlement of some kind. And this perplexes me: How can anyone possibly think they are entitled to the hub, or entitled to use it?
When I joined BYOND, I read that the software was 100% free. Almost nine years later, I find that the software is still 100% free. And I'm thankful for this.
I'm also thankful for the many years I was allowed to abuse the hub via making and deleting as many as I saw fit for whatever random or pointless task I was doing. And now, I'll happily pay for that privilege to continue to do so. And probably, if I'm in an extremely good mood, or someone cracks a good joke, I might be nice enough to pay for others for the privilege to do so as well.
If my subtle point was lost. If you think the hub is an entitlement, you are wrong. It is a privilege. That's all there is to it. Nothing more, nothing less. You can argue until you're blue in the face, it doesn't change this fact. You are not entitled to it. If you were, we wouldn't have the ability to make them go away. You think you're entitled to a hub but not for the site search? It's the same website. They restricted searches for a reason, they're restricting hubs for a reason. They are a privilege, one non-members just lost at that. Live with it.
[Edit] One more thing! The thing I found most funny was that on Tom's announcement, the Yay/Nay thing (which non-members can't vote on IIRC) has 24+ 1-. Seems this "BYOND's doomsday" is pretty popular amongst the subscribers. ;)
// END MINIRANT
I like the forum driven system. When Tom mentioned it way back when, I imagined something much, much different (possibly). But I'm also quite excited about this. I will admit, not to crash hot on losing the age old forum style. Sticky's and the like would have worked fine above an <hr> above the rest of the forum posts. But hey, I've always loved the BYOND forums. And this drives me even more to keep working on my own shoddy PHP knock-off.
But like everyone else, I'll get over it. I can forgive it for the site-pager message update. Let's face it, not all that crash hot right now. But that looks pretty damn snazzy. I'll pay for that.
Game forums for hubs with a bug-tracker and feature-tracker. Hell yes. I'll pay for that.
The best response thing would have been useful six years ago. When I was young and eager to help, yet smart enough to just manage to not screw up enough to warrant community assault. What can I say, as you get older, you stop caring about your status and reputation amongst complete strangers. But let the me's of the next generation take a crack at it. Go get 'em tigers.
Contests and Events is interesting, and I suspect will probably need to have several moderators keeping an eye on it. I can foresee people abusing this feature with stupid and childish pranks. (Yo! Party at Cindy's house! Drunk white women for everybody!)
The flash client was the big one I was looking out for. Sadly it didn't quite meet my giddy child-like expectations. At most, I find this to be a short-term shame. I'll get over it relatively quickly. And probably adapt to it's limitations and flexibility at much the same pace. I'm an evolving programmer?
I think that about sums it up. The only bummer is the forum layout. But even then, if you want to change a community, visually changing the place they all go to complain about the community (or getting rid of it and changing the old place which is also subsequently the next best place) is a pretty good start. (It's a psychology thing.)