Might as well get this down while it's still somewhat fresh in my mind. Some of these will come to most as "Well duh" but hear me out.
First off, in order for any of this to even have a slim chance of succeeding, everyone has to work as a unit. IE: Teamwork! I know, I know. Secondly, I'm not going to push for it until I get my computer fixed. This laptop can only do so much. I'm hoping tomorrow but anything can happen.
So what do I have in mind? Expansion. Moving beyond most people's comfort zones. Take a step back and look at us. Do you honestly believe this site can be revived just with Yu-Gi-Oh! as a base? Maybe. With YVD still in it's reigns? Absolutely not. Just accept it. YVD is dead. Deader then anything. Deader then the dead horse I use to beat in between meals. I don't follow Yu-Gi-Oh! anymore so someone is going to have to bring me up to speed on other dueling applications. I'm aware of DevPro and DN, but those are the only two I know about (and I would just assume the only two that matter). So we can use one or both as a base to find opponents. We can still make this a dueling site, a trading site, a whatever we used to be without YVD. I know someone is going to come out and say "XC was founded on YVD." True, but XC was founded upon the idea of people being creative. We can still make other applications or art or anything really. And why does it have to be YGO? There are other TCG's out there. I'm becoming more and more active in the M:TG community and trying to learn Modern and Standard, as well as Legacy as I generally play Commander. I'm trying to expand into applications like cockatrice, maybe take a look at M:TG Online, delve into the steam games (which are not limited to), go beyond the limit of knowledge for the game. Even rulings. Hell, playing in Commander pods at my LGS gives me new information everytime I play. And not just M:TG. Cardfight Vanguard, Chaotic, Duel Masters (is it dead?), Force of Will (which is trending), Legend of the Five Rings (for you old people), Netrunner, Pokemon TCG (which has picked up a lot of steam recently), Warcraft (TCG is dead, but Hearthstone exists). All these are available. Pick the big three: YGO, M:TG, Pokemon. If we (the XC community) want to exist as a TCG site, these would be the three to use. As a fourth, use a other TCG forum. I know Force of Will is becoming popular (how much is still unknown to me), and some people still play Duel Masters and LotFR. Or just make subforums for a community vote on which other TCG's we can showcase. However, I don't think TCG's will be enough.
Expanding beyond TCG's is what I'm after. Gaming, art, developers (one can dream can't they?), etc. There is always an artistic part of any community, so art is a given, but gaming can be brought in and expanded over time. So we have two sections. TCG and Games. Expanding into the TCG community is easy... well easier then the gaming community. Both require effort. Advertise, but be discrete about it. We don't want to take people away. We want to bring new people in and have another place to go for others. Anyway, back to my point. Some ways to expand into gaming is tournaments for certain games like Team Fortress 2, Hearthstone, WoW (Arenas or even raiding), CS:GO, League of Legends, etc, etc. I wouldn't start too big. Start small. Maybe one or two games to start then expand once we gather more people in. Streaming can also help. I stream games and can advertise that way. Having active streamers is another way to bring in people, though picking up popularity that way is also another challenge in itself.
So reshifting the topic a bit, having too large of a focus will be too overwhelming for new people, but having a small focus will only lock ourselves to a specific group of people while having no expansion at all. I think the problem that XC had over time was it never really expanded (though it certainly tried) into other areas. There used to be a small M:TG community here back in the day, when I first joined in 2006, and I thought it was well received to some. Dr. Tom, Farseer, SwingBlade, and a few others including n00bdragon all had their part. I started getting involved towards the tail end of that little group. Down the road, I asked DarkChaos to bring it back and let me manage it, but it was hard to keep people interested. Then life caught up and had n00bdragon take over for a while. I believe if we want to reshape the forums, then leave Pokemon out for now and take the focus to YGO and M:TG. If people are willing to learn Magic, I can teach them on Cockatrice. For gaming? Maybe make clans in certain games. TF2, CS, make a guild in WoW that specializes in only PVP. The sky is the limit, but only limit what games we are focusing. I started a Zombie Survival clan in Garry's Mod in 2008, and with brute force and determination, I managed to recruit over 50 members. Sure it started off slow, but it quickly picked up steam. Sure the name of the clan was corny (during the time anyway, we were kids), but we all had fun. We tried expanding into making our own server instead of the resident server we stayed on, that didn't work too well. Tried a forum, didn't work too well. We experimented, didn't like it, stayed with the basics. Eventually everyone grew up. It happens. If I could go back and recruit new people I would. Anything is possible.
So there's some ideas to work with, but what about forums structure? Our current members? Other ideas? Pitch your input. Give me criticism. Mold the clay I gave you guys and shape it into something creative.
Forum structure? Simple.
---Introductions (Should only be a subforum)
---Application Help (This forum may be redundant, can keep help threads in other forums)
---(open to ideas)
--Discussion Forum (Tourny Threads would be stickied, or super sub forum if it's possible)
--Decklists (Tag decks with formats)
-Magic: The Gathering
--Cockatrice (Keep them separate. One uses money and the other is free and open source. We can also only focus on one. Cockatrice > M:TGO)
--Discussion Forum (Tourny threads would be stickied)
--Decklists (Tag decks with formats)
--Console Gaming (Super sub forum for specific consoles)
--PC Gaming (Super sub forum for tech help and dev pages)
--Mobile Gaming (iPhones and Droids. Yes, there is a mobile gaming community surprisingly)
--(forums dedicated to specific games if there is a playerbase big enough to warrant it, ie clans)
--Water Cooler (basically any other threads go here, real world stuff)
--Creative Arts(subforums for GFX and Creative Writing)
--Dev Forum (if needed)
--(I'm sure mods knows what goes here)
I know I brought up other TCG's/CCG's. If there is a demand for it, then another separate forum would be created for others, but all bundled. If there would be, for example, a pokemon community consisting of more then 25 members that were all active, then I would create a forum for it. It's expanding conservatively while not expanding too much. Again, this layout is not a final thing I'd throw out for the sake of throwing out and trying something without input from other members.
The other question that would probably get brought up is my experience with IPB. It's... mediocre, but I have worked with it and used the Admin panel once before. Coding, however, isn't my strong suit. Am I suited to be admin? That's not my decision to make. I'm just merely putting something out there for people to use, expand, and pitch in ideas. DarkBlaze tried something, Setever tried something, and now I'm trying something. This is just a rough draft. Ideas for trying to advertise is something I'll be working on this week.
Now, before I hit the "Post New Topic" button, I want to make one thing clear. Keep the discussions civil. If you can't do at least that, then we can't move forward as a team and as a community. I need everyone's effort. Ideas and criticism (tame) is welcomed but trolling and calling people idiots and saying there idea is bad because you don't like it is not. If I have to give a lesson on constructive criticism and well, though-out posts, then obviously I don't need to waste my time trying to make everyone work together.