I think everyone agrees that things aren’t the same, and want Fantage to be better than it is. But I haven’t heard any good suggestions of how people want Fantage to change. So I’m pointing out how Fantage, and the community has changed for what I believe to be the worse. Feel free to formulate your own opinions if you disagree with this. Comment below your thoughts.
Contests Fantage promoted their sense of community by making a big deal about contest winners. Back in the day if you won a contest e.g. Comic, everybody knew who you were, or if your item got made, you were “famous” for something other than your level. The decline of this is partially the growing community having many different winners, but partly because Fantage stopped putting emphasis on it.
The Fantage Blog was a major way that Fantage communicated with their fans and kept them up to date. Now you can’t even access the blog, which is a real shame, especially so you can’t see Fantage’s documented history.
Admin interaction with Fantagians used to be very important. Everybody knew who Himani was, or M was, and it was really exciting to meet them. But now, who are the admins? I don’t know.
Trade’N’Sell Fantage may have already been going downhill before it, but it was a real turning point for the community. The concept and idea was good, however I think the implementation wasn’t perfect, and it created a lot of community problems. Allowing people to move items around created a real elitism, and for many pay to have fun. The items you have and wear is a huge driver for the Fantage community and how it interacts. Before Trade’N’Sell the only way to get old items was to have been there, or bought them fairly at Vintage Classics. This didn’t really create a problem, there was some jealously, or respect towards people with good items, but that was it. You couldn’t change the fact that they had old items. But now, you can pay for, or scam whatever you wanted. This causes a lot of hate in the community, and sets people against each other for scams or “hacking”. Before that you would compete against others for levels, stars or game scores, but that wouldn’t push you apart because it was to do with effort and skill.
Hall of Fame sort of divided the community into us and them (Regulars and “Famous”). With the creation of Hall of Fame, almost the only way to be famous was by having a high level, which was ok to begin with. But people forgot about the people who had their items created, or worked hard on blogs or YouTube. Everything was about level, and often Hall of Fame members would receive a lot of hate, turning them against the average Fantagian, making them hide away, be rude, and ignore people.
Money From what I understand (which may be incorrect), Fantage was actually sold sometime around 2010 or 2011. Somebody who starts a company, because they’re passionate about it, wants to see it succeed and grow positively. When they sell, the person buying it almost always is looking to it so that they can profit. Free items every event for non-members gone, prices go up, more “pay to win” options are introduced, paying is pushed harder. Not paying is made very undesirable. Here’s more information about Fantage as a company.
Pixelling I know designers come and go, and everyone has their own style, but there’s something I just love about the way the old Fantage items were pixeled. They had shading, but they weren’t really complex. They were just looked good. I imagine some people like the newer style of pixelling, but there’s definitely a difference if you compare 2008 clothes to 2016.
This isn’t really major but for some odd reason furniture was redrawn and now looks different to how it used to. Furniture now has a flat sort of look, but before it looked a bit 3D with “shiny bits”.
Internet Community I believe the Internet, as a whole has changed. It used to be very decentralised, there were separate communities around the place, like Fantage. But as Internet use went up, and the whole internet community expanded, communities changed, just look at YouTube for a good example.
Kids and the Internet, back in the day there was no snapchat, or Instagram, and the main way the community connected was through blogs. Kids these days are exposed to “inappropriate” things at a younger age. When they see his, especially through celebrities, some try to emulate it where they can. Sadly Fantage has become an outlet for these things. So we see a lot of “lebz” and “nasty” things happening with people maybe too young to really understand the implications. A 9 year old may have played with Lego or whatever 9 year olds did 8 years ago, but today, a 9 year old is trying to get a “Bae” on Fantage. This is just how things are now, and maybe that’s not a bad thing, but to me it seems a little sad.
Scamming/Hacking/Mistrust Somehow, through the inventions of Trade’N’Sell and MyMall, “Hacking” and scamming has become normalised. Everyday, despite Fantage’s efforts, people are getting hacked and scammed. Yes it’s almost always their own fault, but it shouldn’t be happening. Members of the community doing these things create mistrust, and can ruin the experience for others.
Player Growth As a community grows with more people, people know a smaller percent of the community. For example if there’s 2000 people who play Fantage, and you know 200 who are on your buddy list, you know 10% of Fantage. But if Fantage grows to 20000 and you still only know 200 people, you know 1% of Fantage now. As you can see, Fantage is a victim of it’s own success, with the community becoming less tight knit.
The Current Generation 8 years on, it’s a different generation of Fantage players and Internet users.They don’t know what it was like, what it really could be like. But it’s natural for things to have changed, and maybe some people are just stuck in the past.
Why where we are might be ok:
Change happens, it’s natural not to like it. Change can be exciting, and I’m sure if Fantage stayed the same for 8 years everyone would get bored quickly.
At least we still have it. The changes Fantage have made, especially the money related ones, may be the only reason we still have Fantage. Making a viable business online, especially where you offer it for free to an extent means it’s very hard to make enough money. Staff are expensive, and Fantage would needs to make thousands of dollars a week to pay everyone. Sometimes the changes are necessary.
Things that might rectify the situation:
Removing MyMall and Hall of Fame. I know this’ll be pretty unpopular, but I see this as where the community problems began.
Have different types of contests. For example a blog post award (make them use #fantagecontest so you can check entries easily). YouTube Video award, etc.
Bring back the blog, a relationship with your customers is very important for any organisation. Connecting through the blog to let people know what’s going on, and allows them to contact you without getting spammed through emails.
Put more emphasis on games, not to grind and play as many as possible, but competitions to get the highest score.
People love Fantage, but don’t like feeling forced into paying. Work out a new payment model which makes people want to pay, rather than “needs” them to pay with.