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I've been thinking about this for a while.

What do you guys think about a Discord Server for our Stack? I mean, we do have the chat rooms already, but Discord would enable a few other ways of getting social with each other:

  • We would have video and voice chat, for those interested in it;
  • We can use the humoungous amount of Discord Bots that are available on the net, including one of the most powerful dicerollers I know for a non-rpg oriented software;
  • We can more easily contact each other in a private manner if we wish so;
  • We can actually keep in touch with each other. I'm probably not the only one, but I made some friends here and I've met some really nice people all around. It would be interesting to have a more usual place to hang out that is more usual than our current chatroom.

A few other things:

  • Discord has a Desktop app, a mobile client and a web client.
  • The Discord Mobile App is very, very good.
  • We can set it up so the Diamond mods are mods there too to solve any problem, if there is need to do so (If they want that, of course!). Alternatively, we can set up independent Discord Mods to keep the vitriol levels down.
  • It's free!

A big one:

  • Discord is easy to use as a online platform for playing RPG with others, be it text- or voice-based.

This isn't the first time I've been thinking about this, but back then Discord wasn't really a thing, at least not in the way it is today for the gaming community.

Is there any interest in this, or is this just a stupid idea?

I'll let this question sit for a couple days to gather some answers/votes, and then if there is enough interest I'll cook up a Discord Server for us.


About Discord

Discord is a bit of a blend of Skype, TeamSpeak, Slack and a few other social apps. It was since the begining geared towards gamers, with a very large swat of features inteded to make the social part of multiplayer games, like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, League of Legends, etc. more interesting.

It enables you to create "Servers", that are in a sense a bunch of chatrooms with text capabilities, with optional audio and video that can be categorized by different topics. It also has fully searchable log, Mod tools, and a lot of other features.

It has since then replaced Skype entirely for me, and I'm running quite a few text-based RPGs over it, plus a WoW guild and managing real-life tabletop group. It is that good.

I'm not in anyway affiliated to Discord - I just like it a lot.


Thanks for all the feedback.

After reading all the answers, it seems that the way to go is to set a personal discord up and treat it as that - a personal discord server that happens to be populated by some faces from RPG.SE instead of something official.

That will be the path I'll be taking. I'll come back to this with a invite for those that want to join after I finish setting things up.

Thanks for your time, everyone!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Cool, I think that's more substantial for readers not yet familiar with Discord. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 2 '18 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I've added some more info about Discord in a brief description of it on the bottom of my post. Hope it helps! \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ how do we respond to this question? Is this a case where I "answer" with my affirmative and reasons? or in comments? Perhaps just voting? \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Apr 2 '18 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @goodguy5 You can do any of that. I would love to hear your opinion on an answer, however! \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 19:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I might be happy joining some Discord server I'm not terribly interesting in moderation powers/responsibility off-site, personally. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Apr 2 '18 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ (On a personal note, nice to see you again! Hope all's well in RL.) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Apr 2 '18 at 20:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 (New job, new home, rekindled an old love that is now burning brighter than ever, started a proper Family - things are better than ever! Thanks for asking!) \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 20:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ A downvote? Oh, well, that's surprising! I would love to know why, tho. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 20:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar Votes on meta proposals are usually agree/disagree or “I think this should be discussed / I don't think this should be discussed.” Voting on meta Qs is all over the place. :) But that's okay — meta is different. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 2 '18 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ See “What is ‘meta’? How does it work?” in the help center. /cc @goodguy5 \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 2 '18 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Well, fair enough! Thanks for the pointer! \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 20:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this question could benefit from a little more clarity on how exactly you want to use the results here—what are you looking for? Just permission to call it the official RPG Stack discord? Permission to call it the unofficial RPG Stack discord? A pinned link in the actual chat? A link added to meta or the FAQ or the tour? A link added to the navigation? Any of those things might be things you’d expect of an official, semi-official, or unofficial chat room, and some of them might even be things people are interested in doing (while others are basically impossible). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 2 '18 at 23:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar, I downvoted to indicate that I'm not interested, not because I thought your question was bad. I thought that was appropriate given that your intent is to gauge interest. \$\endgroup\$ – Icyfire Apr 3 '18 at 1:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan To be fair, if we decide in favor of having a Discord server I would be happy with just a Meta topic with a link that we could use to point people over to it. Permission to use thr "Unofficial RPG Stack Discord" would be nice, too, but I'm more interested in checking how much adherence it would have first. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 3 '18 at 9:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Icyfire Fair enough, thanks for the clarification! In Meta is a bit hard for me to understand if the problem is with the proposal or with the question per se. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 3 '18 at 17:00
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Having personal Discords springing off the site with subsets of its community is a fine idea. There's at least a couple already, mostly centered around specific groups of people who went off to organise games together.

However, you should not create a Discord server that purports to be “the” RPG Stack Exchange server. It won't be able to mirror, represent, or accommodate the RPG.SE community. It would be disingenuous to create a server that claims to have that role.

RPG Chat currently benefits from its presence as part of the Stack Exchange ecosystem, and we should consider strongly the implications of separating that social space from the site into a private external space, and how it would change users' ability to control or even access the flow of information and interaction.

Chat is public, and everyone on this site has an immediately-available chat account connected to their mainsite profile in a verifiable and accountable manner. The avoidance of private spaces is a conscious design choice: everything users do is publicly visible. This solves a lot of problems before they start by putting up a large barrier against attempts to harass, coerce, or conspire. This also is a major benefit for Stack Exchange curation, where sometimes discussions in chat can prompt revisions or other activity on mainsite — chat conversations here can be linked back to and reviewed by anyone, but the same is not true for discussions in a private Discord channel.

The RPG.SE community also collaboratively closely enforces many Stack Exchange guidelines that other Stack sites can be loose about, in large part because many of the online RPG communities our users are accustomed to are not Nice. I and many others frequent RPG.SE specifically because it is a Nice RPG space in a sea of Not Nice RPG spaces. Our public communication plays a major role in maintaining that atmosphere. It also takes continuous work from all members of the community collaboratively moderating to keep this site and its social spaces Nice, and to keep it one that does things like affirm all playstyles instead of getting into vitriolic community-fracturing war over playstyle differences.

The Stack Exchange site moderators are very likely not going to be joining private Discord channels to enforce the same rules there — we don't have the tools nor availability.(1) Any user who starts up a Discord server, that's their server, and they should take responsibility for its tone and the behaviour of its occupants. The RPG.SE chat rooms are curated via flags by everybody in the room, and those flags are immediately reviewed by any online user with at least 10k reputation. A Discord channel doesn't have those safety nets, and will quickly grow its own un-Stack-ian room culture.

While I appreciate the ambition to create a space for everyone offsite with all the bells and whistles, I suggest it is better to find those you want to share such a space with, and specifically create a space for yourself and those you trust and want to work and talk with in private. It will be your space, and not the Stack's, and it matters a lot to keep that distinction very clear.


(1): I'm not speaking on any of their behalves here, just saying what's probably the case. Any of us might of course join any channels, but we'd be doing it as normal average people, not as Stack Mods to enforce Stack Rules.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Any user who starts up a Discord server, that's their server, and they should take responsibility for its tone and the behaviour of its occupants IMO, that needs to be a heading for that part of your answer. (And OBTW, I 100% endorse that point -- mods already donate enough of their time). \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 3 '18 at 21:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ You made some very good points there! Thanks for the food for thought. I upvoted your answer, and I'll keep those things in mind. After reading your answer, I'm leaning towards a "this is my discord server but here is the link if you want to join" sort of thing. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 3 '18 at 22:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is already at least one Discord server used by some folks from RPG.SE to hold online games--it's mine, and I keep a very tight leash on it for exactly the reasons listed in this answer. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Apr 3 '18 at 22:47
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As for "Is there interest?" From me? Yes.

I'm a fairly avid user of discord. I like it's interface and functionality. I really like the way that mentions work and sub-channels. It would certainly allow me to view fewer non-work windows AT work. And I'm sure that there is/could be a kick-butt bot that could be plug-in'd (plugged in?) to the channel.

However...

Stackexchange already has this main chat room where a few of us hang out (among others). Then, someone would have to "own" the server and it would need mods. (as a note to non discord users, I mean "own" in that there needs to be an account tied to the service, not that anyone has to buy anything)

A lot of services don't like their users being absconded to other places (though, I don't think SE would mind).

So, my return question:

How would a pseudo-official discord be more beneficial than functionality the site already has?




Just to be perfectly clear: I will click on the discord link the minute it is dropped.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ At least for me, I'm on discord 24/7. If not with the Desktop app, I'm on the web or on my smartphone. It would be so much easier and way more natural to me to use an app I already use anyway to keep tabs with the community that it would be for me to open a webpage that I rarely remember it even exists. That, and notifications. Anyway, I expanded a bit the question with the upsides of Discord. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the point about taking people away from the main site chat is really important. There's a whole bunch of functionality built into that and the way that it works with site. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 2 '18 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Wibbs The idea isn't so much as moving people away from the site as it is keeping people together more. The chatrooms aren't that much used - I'm pretty sure that people hang out in discord a lot more than they normally do on the chat page, at least for those that do use it. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear: SE wouldn't "mind" in the sense that there's no policy for/against/supporting/discouraging this sort of thing. Chat itself exists to support mainsite/meta; the side-benefit that it provides a place that people can hang out is not part of the mission of SE and so something that draws people away isn't a "harm" from the network's POV. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Apr 2 '18 at 20:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah fair enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Apr 2 '18 at 21:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar The primary RPG.SE chat room is currently averaging 3.4k messages a week with a strong presence of many regular users as well as a larger roster of irregulars. At times it's been so active that its presence at the top of the SE-wide useage lists gets random people from other sites wandering in by accident. I'm not sure what metric you're using for "aren't used much," but anecdotally we've got one of the most consistently active and friendly chats on SE. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Apr 4 '18 at 5:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar To the contrary, in fact, the chat is sometimes active enough to be considered a back-room cabal which needs to be reminded about the role of chat in the Stack model; these are also concerns I'd have about a dedicated Discord channel, but with fewer channels for recourse. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Apr 4 '18 at 6:01
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Just to throw into the mix...

Stack-relevant policies:

  • There is no private messaging between users anywhere on the network. This is seen as a "feature" that would actively harm SE's core mission.

    If you want private conversations with people you've met here, it's not going to happen here.

  • Actions taken on-site must be transparent to site-only users. I bring it up because we've run into problems before with conversation in chat generating edits/voting/&c. on mainsite in a way that left mainsite users in the dark as to "why." (See the role of chat, and I'll throw a mea culpa out there as I've probably been guilty of it as much as anyone.)

    If conversation away from main--be it meta, chat, or elsewhere--influences actions on main those actions must be explained on main site (edit summary, comment) such that a main-only user could understand and learn from it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ With one notable exception: getting a posse of spam-flaggers together is totally a thing chat is good for. (The general expectation with spam is that it be taken care of quickly and doesn't need much oversight, so transparency needs are there but way below the speed needs.) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 3 '18 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the input! I agree with it overall, but the idea of the Discord server is not to create discussion about the site, but more of a social/taverna/happy place for non-stack related with the stack community. I think I must make that clearer... \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 3 '18 at 16:57
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Not personally, but why not do it anyway?

Personally, I have no interest in participating in a Discord server.

However, as @nitsua60 points out, there is no SE policy regarding discord servers or communities offsite. In fact, SE officially discourages direct contact between individual users on the site itself. Barring some kind of site-wide change, any RPG.SE discord would be an unofficial channel.

If you believe that having a discord server amongst your friends from this stack would be useful, why don't you just go ahead and make one? Nothing's stopping you from doing that, and it's all you could do within the limits of site policy anyway.

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    \$\begingroup\$ SE doesn't discourage direct contact, so I don't think that's what you mean. In fact direct contact like this comment ping are a vital part of the process, and things like chat pings are fully available. What it does do is not implement any method of private contact on account of the problems it causes in a Q&A environment. (But what users do in their own lives outside of SE is not our business.) \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 3 '18 at 8:54
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This is not to say "yes" or "no" to the inciting proposal, just to give some context for what already exists, because I get the impression perhaps some people aren't fully aware of what the RPG.SE chat community currently looks like.

We have a dedicated chat service.

It's quite active. Sometimes it's too active, but we're getting better about that. We talk about all sorts of things, not just the site and RPGs, to the extent that we sometimes use a pressure valve room for conversations that would otherwise get in the way of a site-specific discussion (which, of course, we prioritize).

It's very robust, with a good mobile interface, integrated one-boxing, strong reply support, conversation bookmarking, built-in immediate-response attention to flags, and so forth.

There's even a dice bot! It's simple but effective and we sometimes write scripts to expand its utility.

We do that because we play games in chat. We play games in chat a lot. No, really; there's more than thirty sessions bookmarked for Fate alone (scroll to the earliest conversations).

No, we can't talk to each other privately on Stack chat. But many of us consider that a feature, not a bug, because it reduces the spaces where harassment, backbiting, and other negative behavior can flourish. It also lets us talk to strangers without giving away any more of our identity than we already have, while adding another service provides people with another point of triangulation on our IRL identities.

When the chat interface becomes insufficient for whatever reason--privacy, disability needs, insufficient mechanical support for gaming--we move to other services depending on needs and circumstances of the specific group. But RPG General Chat remains the hub for the (very small, relative to the Stack as a whole) group of people who want RPG.SE to be a conversational community in addition to its primary purpose as a Q&A platform.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 Thanks for posting this. Chat does go undiscovered by some, so to whatever extent voting might be driven by thinking we have no chat at all (it could be 0%) this is super useful to bring up. Our stack's users are totally welcome there -- it's there for them. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 4 '18 at 9:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the input. I'm aware that some games are being hold on our chat, and compared to the other SE's we are surprisingly active there. Personally, I'm not that much satisfied by its tools, but I can see that it can work wonders for a lot of people. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 4 '18 at 9:18
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Personally, no. I have no interest what-so-ever in discord.

If it were skype or google hangouts or facebook, maybe. I'm not sure if they've fixed it yet or not but last time I checked there were alot of bugs. You would have to make a new account for different platforms instead of one for all of them. It really slows down the computer. A facebook friend of mine complained endlessly about that specific issue when he decided to try discord.

That's just naming a few to get started.

Discord also doesn't suit my personal tastes. The layouts and design choice, at least to me, seem like they are trying way too hard and failing.

There's also the point goodguy5 made about taking people away from the main site chat. I think I want to expand that from just the main site chat to "taking people away from the site" as a whole. I've seen discord move in and kill websites or at least divide them so horribly nobody knows what's going on anymore. Inevitably you're going to have some people that don't want to use discord and stick with the main chat and you'll have people that want to use discord exclusively, which can easily lead to communication falling apart. I can't imagine stackexchange would be very pleased with that result.

I think you might want to list the downsides and issues discord has instead of just the positives.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Discord isn't at all buggy anymore, and it doesn't slow my computer in any way I can detect. It is also by far more stable than Skype, that's for sure. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with it, but what you're saying here isn't representative of it anymore for quite some time. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 20:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar i am still having that issue. my bf is still having that issue. my friend in england is still having that issue. half my steam friends are still having that issue. it is nowhere near fixed. \$\endgroup\$ – Seven of Nine Apr 2 '18 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenofNine I double checked with my facebook contact. He reports, with quite a bit of swearing intermixed into the statement, that he is still experiencing issues as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Loki Laufeyson Apr 2 '18 at 21:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenofNine I run discord both on my high-end gaming PC and my lame work machine, and both run Discord and a lot of very heavy stuff without even a glitch. And that is running things like WoW, Minecraft, Starbound, Tera, Visual Studio and a few other things. I have no idea why you're experiencing slowdowns, but there is a big chance that isn't discord alone. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenofNine To further exemplify, Discord is running around 97 megabytes of ran on my machine, with around 1% of my processing power. I'm using it to chat with my guildies on WoW right now. No issues. I won't say that discord never causes issues, but there is a real possibility that it may not be at fault. Things like Denuvo, for example, or GAS, can wreck a few software and you may not even realize you have those installed. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 2 '18 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don’t specifically know whether these issues have been addressed or not (I haven’t noticed Discord causing any problems on my computer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything), but I think coming at this from a place of “I haven’t tried it, but a while ago I heard that it had problems,” is not really a fair response to the suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Apr 2 '18 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan It is unfortunately not "I haven't tried it, but a while ago I heard that it had problems". If you read the comments, for multiple people it is still a problem. \$\endgroup\$ – Loki Laufeyson Apr 3 '18 at 4:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LokiLaufeyson Multiple People have problems running WoW. Or League of Legends. Or Windows. Or Debian Linux. That doesn't mean those things are bugged, lousy or problematic - more often than not, if for a large swat of the population the app runs smooth but a few people have issues, there is a big chance that the problem is on their end. For example, Overwatch gets buggy as hell if you have Teamviewer open (not actively connected, just open). You can go for a long time thinking that the game is at fault, when in reality the problem is some weird interaction on your setting. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Apr 3 '18 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar and multiple people have problems running steam or windows or any other program and its the program itself that's the problem. last time i messaged steam help about a bug they pretty much told me "yeah, that's a common bug with the program and we don't know how to fix it yet". you mentioned windows, operating systems actually do have bugs half the time and sometimes new updates end up causing problems. its a large number of people i've been asking around to and plenty report issues. \$\endgroup\$ – Seven of Nine Apr 3 '18 at 20:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps we can cease arguing and agree to disagree? T. Sar, you advocate for discord and say it is anything but it. Seven, you advocate that discord is the problem. In any given case it could be one or the other, even both or neither. Neither of those things change the fact that a problem exists and that people are having it, which is the important part. \$\endgroup\$ – Loki Laufeyson Apr 3 '18 at 21:04

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