Next week marks the 11th anniversary of Victory Road. It’s certainly been a long journey of friendships, antagonisms, and programming adventures.
It is with a wave of emotions that I must finally retire Victory Road. I have a great amount of nostalgia for this place through my final high school years, all of college, and the first few years in the workforce.
For me, this site was originally about taking a shot at running a community. I originally lurked around GameFAQs and enjoyed the prospect of a gaming-oriented forum. I gravitated towards a small board oriented around the development of a Wonder Mail generator for the original Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles. In November 2006, I decided to spin up a forum of my own on the same service, but after a single user joined (Yoshi648) I let it rot. When the Mario Paint Composer bug bit, I joined the budding Mario Paint Hangout and built a few friendships. I quickly became an administrator, which made me yearn for running my own forum (again).
In the summer of 2008, I reinstated my own forum (creatively, the “Buizel.Net Forums”), invited a few folks, and promoted a few staff members. Within a few months, we had a solid community of a couple dozen members before I moved the Buizel.Net Forums over to a self-hosted phpBB installation. It wasn’t long until the activity really began to pick up as people wanted a smaller, looser forum to discuss Pokémon, healthy debates, and whatever else folks had on their mind. I had also started streaming video games, mostly Pokémon and Mario stuff.
By the following summer, I had renamed the site and forum to “Floatzel.Net,” and by the end of the 2009 had changed out the software to vBulletin and renamed the site “Victory Road.” We were also having tournaments for the fourth generation Pokémon games, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Mario Kart Wii almost every month. This was when the site got a proper chat, a flaky virtual adoption board, and a topsites listing. I’d also started working on the Victorydex project. Through the midst of all this, I had to try out different VPS hosting providers who oversold their systems until I got a dedicated server from HiVelocity.
Several staff members from the former PokéZam had helped with building projects, with FreezeWarp joining the administration and development staff. Within time, he took over development of the Victorydex, rebuilt the chat system, and made significant progress towards making a full-fledged game out of the idea of adoptions (which he named VictoryBattles). Another ‘Zam staffer, Shadow, brought us the Victory Road Gym League, where the best battlers of the forum could become Gym Leaders and give out badges to the victors. Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver hype was in full swing, and the users kept coming to trade and battle. With that activity also came some spammers and other users who kept the moderators on their toes. As Pokémon Black and White took over my full attention, much of the maintenance work turned to the moderators, but overall the community remained stable.
Over the next several years, we even started our own Minecraft server, which proved to be a constant headache as plugins updated at different paces while various bugs caused memory leaks and server crashes. On top of that, we had the arcade where you could play simple Flash games and record your high scores, the Pokékaki where you could draw whatever you pleased, and the Victory Road Adoption Center as the adoption-centric replacement for VictoryBattles.
As games like Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Pokémon X and Y came out in 2013, I could tell that interest in the forum was waning. The weekly user count began dwindling into 2014. I had begun to plan for Victory Road’s closure to coincide with my graduation from college and transition into a new part of my life, but I had wanted to wait until I had finished that new site I had always discussed (“VGVids”) before doing so. Some of the site features fell into disarray and members either left or loss interest in running things like the Gym League. When the cost of the server got to be too expensive for the load, KingOfKYA hooked me up with a VPS at ServerPoint.
The VGVids project was renamed to Lycanroc.Net and completed in late 2016. Stubbornness led to me delaying the closure until the end of 2017. The few remaining loyal users kept me company through the final years.
Please see the following dates for changes that should be expected in the near future.
December 1, 2017
Logging in on VRAC
and the Pokékaki
will be disabled.
January 1, 2018
The Pokékaki and VRAC will be fully closed and will no longer be online. Be sure to save any pictures you want to keep by this date. In addition, the remaining webpages on Floatzel.Net
will be taken down.
January 8, 2018
Most content-creation features on Victory Road will be disabled. This includes: posting, editing, deleting, uploading attachments, uploading album photos, and sending private messages.
February 1, 2018
Logging in will be disabled. Also, large attachments will be deleted. Be sure to download any large files that you want to keep by this date.
I’d like to give a special shout-out to the following members:
[list][*]Yoshi648 – Running this place would’ve been impossible without him keeping constant watch on spammers and managing the staff.
[*]KingOfKYA – He taught me a lot of what I know now about system administration, laid the foundation of my PHP and MySQL knowledge, and clued me into best practices before I could falter.
[*]FreezeWarp – This guy developed many website products that were used by many forum members, especially the Victory Road Instant Messenger chat system.
[*]PokeRemixStudio – He advertised the forum extensively through his popular YouTube channel and brought in a lot of like-minded individuals.
[*]Shadow – He launched and ran the initial iteration of the Victory Road Gym League, giving us a stable battling community.[/list]
Of course, I’d also like to thank everyone who contributed toward the greater good and those who provided quality posts for others to enjoy and converse with. I will never forget many of the wonderful members we’ve had here.
I can be reached at email@example.com
or other locations listed here: http://www.lycanroc.net/contact/#links
“A journey is best measured in friends rather than miles.”
– Tim Cahill