Screeps Discord?

  • Dev Team


    Finally, regarding @artch his point of integrating with Arena mode: if that's in 2019, there's no rush to move now. In a year, a lot can change, and Discord could be beaten by a better alternative. By the time those features actually have a visible impact for players they might become relevant, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    Sorry, it was a typo -- 2018 of course.

    Also, although Rich Presence is useful mainly for Arena mode, it is not limited to that. We can display your shard there, the room you're observing, etc.

    The discussion here is mostly about differences in Slack and Discord app features. But let's not forget that unlike Slack, Discord is more than an app - it's a social network. Rich Presence might be very beneficial to promote Screeps among Discord users who don't play Screeps yet, but are friends of Screeps players in some other games. Discord has some viral potential that we lack when using Slack as a standalone platform.

  • @keenathar said in Screeps Discord?:

    #help: Discord is extremely unsuitable for the large code sharing that happens in, say, #help - by far the largest channel.
    No line numbers, no expanding, no highlighting. Slack has all of these. #help constitutes about a third of all monthly messages. Let's not break that.
    While Discord might be more accessible to join for new players, consider the net threshold for actually sticking with the game will probably go up because of the damage it does to #help.

    While discord doesn't have line numbers and no collapsing, it does have syntax highlighting.
    And honestly I don't care about those other two...
    Pasting more than a couple off snippets in a chat room isn't really helpful at all.
    You can use tools like pastebin for that, discord will even give you a small preview for links.

    As artch already mentioned discord is a social network and as such a much better media than slack.
    Don't get me wrong slack is a awesome tool on it's own but it is a tool for developing teams and not a instant messenger app even if it feels like one.

    Screeps is a game that can benefit from discords current features and with its constant grow and development most of the biggest gripes people have will be addressed eventually anyway.
    The community support they offer is top I know that first hand. So talking to them is a option.

    Regarding the channel number my experience in moving a big community to discord is that it is plenty enough.
    Most of what is discussed in slack is imo better of in this forum anyway.

  • @keenathar said in Screeps Discord?:

    Archive: Speaking of archiving: when was the last time you really read back old messages? There's rarely ever anything I need to find back later, and in those rare occurrences you can just star the message for later. I doubt the archive is of much use. Especially given that a lot of the timeless data is on GitHub and the likes. Let the chat be timely and use other channels for timeless data.

    As a returning player, I found it quite obnoxious that every channel other than #help and #general were unable to be read. All the channels were just blank. That's part of why I didn't understand which channels were active.

    @gimmecookies said in Screeps Discord?:

    @gankdalf said in Screeps Discord?:

    @gimmecookies The indicator only displays the number of people in the channel, not how often it is used from what I can tell. It proved only useful for finding the obvious channels like #help and #general, which seems to be where most of the activity is anyways.

    From what I can tell, most discord servers don't try to handle it at all, and simply leave all their channels enabled for everyone. Due to this (as others have stated), discord servers mostly have fewer channels.

    There is also no default functionality that allows users (aka not the server owner or admins) to create more channels. They can create a new server, but not channels within a server. From what I have seen in other games, they tend to have one main server with around 10-20 general channels, and the alliances/guilds make their own servers and post them in a bulletin board channel in the main server.

    So we get multiple servers with multiple channels. Looks like more mess to me?

    I don't know if Slack can do this, but Discord can have custom bots to solve many of the functionality differences, including the user created channels if that is really something that they want to keep... I don't like that feature at all.

    As for more more mess... the alliance channels always seemed odd to me. I have to go through and learn the names of every alliance, so that I can ignore their channels in discord. Having all of the alliances in their own servers would make it clearer which channels belonged to an alliance.

  • Culture

    I agree with @daboross on his posts, trimming the channels down to the amount viable for discord would not be pleasant. I keep #general muted and rarely poke in because of the sheer number of messages all the time. I'm in a few discord servers, but rarely bother trying to participate due to way too much traffic. I don't have time to scroll through every channel to find out if anything is relevent when those channels have activity all day. In slack, the channels being spread out makes it much easier. I can see at a glance if I need to check in on something, for example, if #screepsplus or #screepsplus-support has unread, I will check them first to make sure theres no issues, others like #botarena or #swc I may ignore depending on if I'm busy or not. With discord this becomes much more annoying since so many conversations would end up merged.

    I for one, would be much less active if we did move to discord, as others have mentioned they do, I work as a programmer, so have slack open anyway, during slow periods I'll check slack and chime in. I'm also afraid that if we did goto discord, it would end up fragmenting portions of the community, as alliances would be forced to create their own discord/slack/whatever server.

    I also agree with @Knightshade here,

    We're considering only two options. Seriously. We're taking a considerable hit to organization, group unity, etc. by moving regardless. The last thing I want is six months after a discord move to start hearing people talk about how ... is so much better and we need to move to that instead.

    if we are considering moving, we should also consider and evaluate other platforms too, rather than just debating slack vs discord. (I know there are several slack clones out there, don't recall their names though)


  • @ags131 I'm still curious why discord isn't viable with more channels. I personally would prefer fewer channels just because I don't understand what more than half the channels in the Slack are even there for, but what is actually preventing discord from having the same number of channels as Slack?

  • @artch said in Screeps Discord?:

    The discussion here is mostly about differences in Slack and Discord app features. But let's not forget that unlike Slack, Discord is more than an app - it's a social network. Rich Presence might be very beneficial to promote Screeps among Discord users who don't play Screeps yet, but are friends of Screeps players in some other games. Discord has some viral potential that we lack when using Slack as a standalone platform.

    This, I believe, is one of the strongest considerations that has been raised so far. Some of the conversation has revolved around the notion that migrating from Slack to Discord would be inherently detrimental to the community, because it requires a change, new software, or whatever. But the fact is, there may be value to be gained from Discord that Slack does not offer. It may be an additional touch point for new players, and that, I think, is the holy grail.

  • Culture

    If we move to discord we're going to need more moderators. As it is now the bulk of the "dealing with drama" is done pretty much by me (although it fortunately has been pretty quiet the last couple of months). As others have pointed out, having Slack open at work is pretty standard but having discord is not, so we'd need those extra moderators for all that time the existing mods would no longer be able to join the network.

    Additionally, that whole point at the top- "Doesn't by default allow user-created channels"- would be pretty awful. We should not need admins to create channels for people.

  • For me, not having chat archives in Slack is a killer issue. It's really annoying that I can't see what I wrote to someone a few months ago.

    Yes, there is the archive bot, but you can't use it for private channels or direct messages.

    So I vote for Discord.

    Note on invite-only channels: In the Discord model, a group (e.g. an alliance) that previously used a Slack invite-only channel would probably simply create their own server. It's free and - unlike separate slack instances - uses the same user accounts, so you can't mix up people.

  • I have no idea why anyone thinks discord would be a better choice than slack.

    Voice chat isn't that great at these game speeds, and given this is a coding game I don't understand why we'd move to a platform with less snippet support.

  • @artch Steam already provides this potential of friends seeing what people are playing. I'd also bet that most people have more friends on Steam than on Discord.

    Besides, I don't want the entire Screeps community to know what else I'm doing with my time. And from that directly follows: the opposite as you're describing can happen as well. It can draw players away from your game as well.

    Personally I use discord with a few distinct, small groups of friends. For example, my fixed Rocket League team mates. I absolutely loathe the larger communities such as "official" groups for Game X. I tried a bunch and ended up leaving each of them.

  • Culture

    Looks like there isn't even github integration with discord, which means all of the development channels (such as #screepers, #screepsmods, #quorum, and several others) would no longer have github notifications sent to them. For that reason alone I think most of the third party development projects will want to stay on Slack- toss in the inability to collapse snippets and the crappier syntax highlighting and I think this would be a step back.

  • Culture

    @gankdalf no, I don't mean that. With that particular method you have to literally create a webhook for every repository in your organization, and you have to manually maintain it. WIth the slack integration you can set up an integration with an entire organization using the single integration.

    You also get a lot more customization-

    0_1518628761242_Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 9.18.43 AM.png

    As someone who manages several development Slack networks I can say without a doubt that it is much more work to maintain that on discord than it is for slack.

  • @tedivm are you sure you need one for every repository?

  • Culture

    I would probably end up creating a slack just for ScreepsPlus and possibly stuff like #screepsmods, many of us use the github integration to watch for updates for mods, tools, even the private server itself.

    ScreepsPlus also uses a slack webhook to offer Grafana alerts through slack, usually via a direct DM to a player or private channel, discord would make that impractical even with their webhook support.


  • Culture

    @gankdalf if you enable that particular webhook you lose all granular control over the repositories while using Discord.

    Here's the main difference, to cut right to the specifics-

    • Slack works by creating an integration with Github that basically sends all of the information to Slack. Then the Slack Github Integration (created by the Github team) allows you to specify a variety of options on the Slack side for how that is managed. Since Slack has all the information you can make changes really easily inside of the Slack integration.

    • Discord does not have any Github capabilities in it's system. Instead it receives messages from the webhook and acts as a proxy, passing it on to the appropriate channels as configured by the webhook. All of the management of that comes from the Github side of things rather than from the chat server integration.

    This has a huge difference in how these things get managed.

  • Culture

    If ScreepsPlus ends up with a slack server I will simply move all of the development channels I manage over to that Slack server, and just point my various bots at it as well.

  • @tedivm I would do the same. I'm not going to juggle both Discord and Slack development at the same time.

  • @tedivm Okay, that makes so much more sense now. So to repeat. The difference is that in Slack, you login to your GitHub account and manage everything there, while in Discord you would need to create a webhook between each pair of channels and repositories you wanted to connect, since the organization wide webhook would post all of the selected events to the specific channel with no customization on which repository it came from.

    Yeah that sounds like a decent amount of work to setup. Although, it does seem like it is a one-time setup per repository.

  • Culture

    @gankdalf true, it would mostly be one time (unless someone wanted changes).

    Maybe you can answer a question for me, since my discourse knowledge is a bit limited. Can anyone add a webhook, or would the "admins" of the network have to add each one?

    With Slack we admins can enable an Integration, such as Github, and then allow users to manage the features of that Integration. So once we added Github, players who aren't admins (such as @ags131) can add their own repositories and organizations without having to coordinate with the admins at all.

    How would that work with Discord? It seems like we'd either have to allow anyone to create webhooks (which I am not sure is possible) or the admins would have to manage this task every time someone wanted to add a new github repo or organization.