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History of PLDH

 > Basics

While this is still a young site we do have a story to tell. Of course it is only being told because someone likes to write... I've broken this lengthy document up into the following table of contents. Read on at your behest...



Site Development History

Iteration 1

When this site was brand new and looked like I had just learned HTML (which I had) it lacked much character at all. I'd link off to a page to show you just how it looked but I've deleted those files since then and it kinda makes me sad. Anyways it was an entirely black page with a bland banner and two images on both sides. The banner was abnormally large, forcing most people to scroll right to see all of the page content and the other image/menu. The menus were actually just images which had been mapped with hotspots - click on a certain part and it takes you to another page. So you can probably imagine the hell it was to add a page to the website... Suffice it to say I moved away from that once I began learning CSS. We stuck with iteration 1 for nearly 3 months.

Iteration 2

The second iteration was better than first by a long shot and it even had a little bit of character. Yea, I loved those popup menus, at the time... The problem with this iteration was that the character the site did have was very, very, out of left field. Dubbed The Dojo, the theme was based on the idea that we were here to help educate Pokémon players about competitive play(we wanted to do it differently than the undisputed champion of the subject, Smogon) and somehow I got to dojos and what-not. I guess I just like Japan's culture that much. Iteration 2 was up longer than 1, staying up 7 whole months! Somewhere along the line I began to hate this layout and stopped keeping it up to snuff. I was already well on my way to finishing the third iteration in February of 2007.

Iteration 3

As soon as it2 (iteration 2) was done and I began to hate the popup menus I had started with it3 (iteration 3). At the time I was really just focused on getting away from the popup menus; there was no concept for the new theme drawn up or even considered. I'd gotten about as far as I could when the theme for the site came to me.

I had been reading a lot of Butterfree/AntiAliases (of TCoD) writing about site personality and really paid it some attention because it is the most attractive and developed (personality and otherwise) sites I had come across in the Pokéfandom World. So I was dead-set on coming up with something cool. Dale was our Netbattle server's host and the server had this welcome message that said something like, "The taste you can see!" Which is a Cinnamon Toast Crunch© reference. I laughed most of the time I saw it and that is when the idea came to me...

I'd use cereal characters and emulate their catch-phrases! It is pretty simple getting from there to where we ended up with it3, so I'll spare you from more nonsensical babble. We designed 11 characters(not counting a Snorlax wearing a hat). They can be seen here in all of their glory.

It3 lasted a whole 11 months, up until our third and final major server crash in as many weeks in January of 2008. Unfortunately for it3 it was not a very big hit amongst the community. The cereal character theme the site took on was widely regarded as being childish and many also said it was more "out of left field" than The Dojo theme. It lasted so long for two reasons; 1 - people held in their spite for it3 until a survey the administration took from the community about the site in the fall...(it2 had been around for 7months by then) and 2 - the development and deployment of it4 took 4 months!

Iteration 4

After that last major crash we changed hosts... Since it4 was not yet finished and we didn't want to put back up a site so widely unfavored we left up a plain-ass page with some text and a link to our forums... Not much unlike Smogon's doing between it's site iterations. In the end I took into account some things I'd read from chaos about good site management and how pre-emptive deployment is bad business despite it4's having the legroom to possibly go live, albeit rather emptily.

It4 is a huge step for PLDH.net. From conception in October of 2007 it was very ambitious, even in comparison to other Pokésites out there. We launched it4 in late March of 2008 as it was as complete (content-wise and for the most part -_-) as we could get it. In truth, with a white-page being the homepage for over two months we really felt we needed something... So, at launch, it4 had not completely filled its ambitions.

What are it4's ambitions? PLDH.net has had a MarketPlace that used a forum reputation points system to trade points for things pretty much since the beginning in 2006. We've had a Classifieds forum since the beginning as well. Being that it4 uses user sessions site-wide we wanted a way to even further the integration and to truely expand the aforementioned forum concepts. As a result a MarketPlace system is to be established in the future though when it will be launched is as yet unknown. As it stands it4 still offers a crapload more functionality than previous versions and many other Pokésites out there. Its also a massive improvement crossbrowser in comparison to previous versions its and it validates!

Community History

The beginning...

Spring/Summer 2006 | During the Invisionfree Forum days

PLDH, or PokéLeague and DarkHunters (capitalized letters make the acronym PLDH) were both started seperately on GameFAQs.com's Pokémon Diamond message board. Yochodo and God_Of_Blaze respectively founded each of the two pieces. I would be the second to join the DH and then PL further down the road. As more and more members belonged to both it seemed to me that they could be combined. This proposition lead to our moving from the Diamond board to an invisionfree forum started by Delvisfreshly. Delvis left sometime later as he disliked the combination idea, apparently he was under the premise it was only intended to be a PL forum.

While we were at the invision forum I worked on modding some phpBB forum code for us to use and started putting together a pretty generic site, which was honestly a pos as I was still learning HTML and didn't know a thing about CSS. We moved to PLDH.net in early July of 2006. Not too long after I screwed up a MOD to the forum code and went to get help at phpBB support. Apparently I gave out too much info and we were hacked. Some people just don't like Pokémon or the idiots that want to code and play video games... Suffice it to say things started anew.

Getting Born...

Summer/Fall 2006 | During i1

At this point we basically sat in wait and discussed pre-release info and got to know eachother with newbs arriving here and there from threads kept running on the Diamond board. Eventually Dale, aka Duck_Norris set us up the NB server and more would come.

Now I tried in the fall of 2006 that would fail like the second site iteration. The BattleGround, a second forum. What it was supposed to do, as clans were a community wide trend at the time, was give them a place to meet so we could battle eachother. The idea just never caught on and when Skarm from Smogon showed up and joked around it seemed pretty damn obvious the whole thing was a fuckin' joke. I have nothing against the guy, don't know him, no insults, just saying that as the idea failed miserably it was also the brunt of jokes. So it got canned.

As this is happening we tried several times to merge with Clan Nyura, which was actually a group formed by an ex-member of ours, Nyura, lol. None of these merges went through due to disagreements on both sides, CN thought we were just taking over, and some of our people were not fond of it in any way. For the time these attempts at strengthening the community as whole were dropped. The idea was to have a larger community, as CN was no different than us.

A vet member and General Moderator, SIaanme moved Chemical Chaos, a role play, from the GameFAQs board to our forum as GameFAQs moderators were deleting the threads. This brought members not originally interested in us to the forum. With them came a massive surge in posting activity, at times reaching 800 posts per day.

Winter on the Internet...

Winter 2006 | During i2

In December of 2006 our largest competitor, Team Chaos, would collapse. This sort of changed everyone's perspective on the whole clan concept, ...finally! I say this because even though I joined one of these things I was never a fan of them. I maintain team spirit here but it really only applies to the community. When I joined I guess you could say I saw something a bit bigger and/or better on the horizon. In any case the idea behind DH remained but DH itself was nearly a lost cause.

Around New Years Dale had been working with Colonel20100 to merge Leagues. Being premature, in some cases, can be good but also has its drawbacks. Our League, as was called "the original," had lost members as the wait for Diamond/Pearl prolonged itself. Colonel started his own, as was known as "GFAQs League 2," which saw equal success filling up positions rather quickly. As we were trying to create a community, vs. being a clan, another merge was tried. It succeeded. Here we began to see the true light on the horizon.

A Tournament to Remember...

October 2006 | During i2

At this point I'm going to skip back just a bit, you won't get confused so no worries, it just didn't fit in with the rest well. Without sounding elitist we enjoyed battling, more than opposing clans, at least it seemed. Well Faheem, the leader of TC, would come to me and suggest a tournament between the two. We accepted and began figuring out who would be the best to battle in the two tiers used in the tournament (OU and UU). It would have been nice to cover Uber and NU but that idea wasn't flying for whatever reason.

UU was sort of a surprise as I hadn't battled in that tier much and didn't know anyone else with much skill. Apparently that wouldn't be a problem. Several members strapped in and took that tier by storm in the weeks we had prior to the tournament. As I recall we finalized our competitors via tournaments and had the following get locked in;

OU

UU

So, it seemed, our best OU'ers, myself included, would handle OU while the few brave souls managed UU. The tournament started and both sides were missing a single OU player. Mikkel for us, he is a European so I guess he hadn't considered the time issue. It wasn't a problem as they were short as well. We started in OU with Shadowmere, I can't remember most of these TC opponents' names... Well Shadowmere lost and then I was up and I lost to Chunx, who has since joined PLDH.net. Anyways my battle sucked. I was on drugs or something. Next, our best battler, at the time, Aits (Angel in the Silence) would battle. He lost. As we watched I remember saying to Jth that AitS wasn't playing like himself, it was a bad battle and if I wasn't on drugs he surely was. We were swept under the carpet like dust-mites. And with that our confidence was effectively zero...

UU was up next and I just figured fuck it, we may like battling but that doesn't translate to being composed of any amount of win. I was soon proven wrong. Again, as I recall, we were either both short or one group or the other was short, and so we only ended up doing 3 of the 4 planned battles. Jth, Dale, and Glitch battled, that is a fact. They all went on to sweep TC in UU. So we left even, you could say. Since then UU has been the most popular tier battled in and its honestly more difficult, as well as all around better than OU, in my opinion. Talking to Dale later I mentioned we were the underdogs going into that tourny as TC had been beefing themselves as 1337 battlers. We might have tied, as far as numbers go, but there was still a sense of victory. Later Dale would coin UUnderdogs as the phrase applied to all who participated in the UU sweep. Chunx is there now but he's of equal UU capacity, so I hear, cackle.

And that was the epic battle with TC. A rather good time, we held the tournament on their NeBattle server and everyone got along nicely. So we decided to have another. By the time we were ready I started planning things out with Faheem and he sketched out, saying they wanted to do it on Wi-Fi because most of the members used that (Diamond/Pearl had released in Japan), and that they were no longer concerned with the 3rd generation metagame. Later I was told they had less than 5 people who'd imported. Whatever, no longer concerned with 3rd gen is bs. Truth was TC was collapsing, they had been hacked several times and less and less people showed back up after things were fixed. As that happened we saw more and more TC come our way.

A Moment with AitS

Enough with that. A little AitS for you. AitS, at one point our best battler, and one of the more entertaining members, one of my first internets friends, disappeared a week after the TC tourny. That was almost to the day. In any case he hasn't shown back up and its not likely he just quit showing up. Knew him enough to think otherwise. Just want to take this time to say AitS, where the fuck are you, come back, I love you. In a totally heterosexual way =P

The Frost Whithers

Late Winter/Spring 2007 | During i3

So TC seemed to die out. The affect on us, as a community, was that our people are more accepting of dropping the whole clan mentality and opening up as a general community. Then Virtual67893 from CN comes along and suggests we try to merge again. I had collaberated with him on past merger attempts. By now the idea of PCC had arisen and he was into it. Well discussion between myself and Dale would lead to a reality. As it was suggested PCC would operate as a separate forum than the one we currently had. Well this idea, mine, was lame. It was basically like starting over and either PCC or PLDH, or maybe even both, would die in transition. As Dale said staying where we were and simply changing it to encompass PCC was better. We didn't want another BattleGround. Eventually Virtual would fade away into the abyss of the internets. We haven't heard from CN in a long time. As it stands we are community and not a clan.

Strell of the remnants of TC contacted me sometime in March/April of 2007 and suggested a trial merge, where members of both communities could "transit" betwixt the two forums. The concept wasn't a homerun, per se, but it was successful in that all the drama we percieved was there was actually just a farce. Come late June(2007) a total merge occured and TC setup shop on PLDH.net. They still use their old forums for things but their staff was predominately given parallel positions and that's basically the lot of things with the TC group, mergers, and other childish phenomena.

Mikkel launched a successful series of threads he'd been running on the forum, which was the PLDH News Paper on the website. He had a lot of support from other members and they began helping with already established sections and even expanded the paper's coverage from basic tournament information and what the staff was up to, to Fun Pages and Editorials. The Paper's original goal was to increase low tournament activity.

Chemical Chaos began winding down at this point. As a result the average posts per day started to decline. This caused a domino affect and lead some to believe that as posting elsewhere declined the community was in recession and might collapse like Team Chaos. CC was responsible for nearly 60,000+ posts itself...

1st Anniversary...

Summer 2007 | During i3

As for the summer of 2007. We celebrated our first year anniversary, quite quietly, to be honest. For many reasons. To start I wasn't around for most July. Part of it was that yea, it's great to not have to worry about work, which this is, though I enjoy it, which is why I still do it; but also because of the drama which occured on the forums and outside of them. I'm not going to go into detail about all of what went down but it was something like four complete mindfucks. One after the other. And at the end of the last one I had just about had it with the whole thing. And the same could be said for most all regulars on the forum. The community was literally on the verge of imploding and it didn't walk away from that summer unscathed. We've lost a favorite, MyNameIsYours, or MNY for short, one of our veteran General Moderators peaced. For awhile even Dale had left. He did, however, return to actually finish solidifying the TC merge. He's not going anywhere...

So I spent most of July away and when I did return, awkwardly enough, Mikkel had successfully predicted, to the day, when I would pop-up; I only did so to write a "I'm going to slowly leave this place," thread. But oh how wrong I was. At any rate I'd made the thread and would come back in about 5 days to check on responses. Then I came back the next day... After that I thought to revive an old case study we had started in Sept./Oct. of 2006 about the mythologies of Pokémon. And after that... Well it's what it's always been, though somewhat tainted by the drama of that summer.

I think all things considered the events of that summer were a somewhat binding experience for us all. Some are still learning to get along again but that's the good news, it is working. And because of all of that, we are still here. This speaks loads about the people of PLDH.net; their dedication. From that point we looked onward.

The PLDH News Paper is overhauled but community support is now in decline. Mikkel is pretty much alone in handling at this point and pretty frustrated as a result.

With Chemical Chaos well out of the picture now spam in The Lounge forum began a serious climb. The Lounge averaged 500posts per day during this period. Posting in other forums was unsatisfactory for many members; the forum seemed without focus.

The Community in Review

Fall 2007 | During i3

Mikkel and I decided to take a survery of all our active members called The Global Temperature Survey or GTS. People basically provided feedback about how they honestly thought we, and the staff, were handling things on the forum, what we could change, and further wanted to know what people thought could be done with the website.

I was surprised to learn that the site iteration that had been up for so long was actually hated. People called for a professional website. We began work on it.

The GTS seemed to also spark renewed interest in the now nearly defunct Newspaper. It is overhauled again but the renewed interest quickly fell to the wayside and the Newspaper has since been non-existent.

Death of v2.0...

Fall/Winter 2007 | During i3

v2.0 is not a reference to the iteration of the website design but rather where basis of the community was, the forum. v1.0 is used to reference our days on invisionfree and v2.0 references the days on phpBB2.0 software. phpBB had released beta 3.4 and was stable enough to run. I installed it and set it up to see how it was in a different directory. Dale, Mikkel, and I were all so impressed (and realized how archaic phpBB2.0 was) that we really wanted to start using it asap.

So, I tried to convert phpBB 2.0 over to the beta. It failed. Why? Our host didn't support php5 which is what was required to do the switch. And in some odd twist of fate our database backups were not saving posts, so doing the switch locally wasn't going to work either. We faced the question: Leave v2.0 and its 250,000+ posts behind and start anew, stay, or switch hosts.

None of us wanted to deal with a host switch, nor did we want to continue managing a community in phpBB2.0. So we started anew. What we didn't realize was the implications this would have on the community...

Spam was out of control and members unhappy with the move began fighting about it. Many left. Others appeared less often. Rather quickly, what was a 1,000 posts per day dropped to well below 400. Again members prophesized the collapse of the community.

We got control of spam and made due with the small group of people left from before the move (many people just didn't bother re-registering and also inactive accounts were obviously lost). The community moved forward sluggishly while Mikkel and I focused on laying it4's roots.

Gloomy Days...

January 2008 | Introducing the white page!

In late December we began encountering major server issues. Twice in as many there were periods where the site was down as long as 24 hours. Our host, GoDaddy, really didn't have much to say on the matter. phpBB3 had gone gold and all of the crashes had occured closely after the forum had been updated to the its first stable release. We suspected our virtual server's not supporting php5 was the issue.

In the beginning of January the third crash occured. I'd told the community our host had three strikes to give. By that crash GoDaddy had struck out and we switched to host supporting php5 on virtual servers.

Our advancement into it4 lead us to abandon bothering with moving it3 so we focused on getting the database for our forum backup, which did get saved. This was a huge positive for the community because many were worried we'd have lost it and people that were pissed and said they wouldn't register again didn't have to leave.

In February Mikkel and nza created a "Board Administrator" level for Strell, who was brought in to alleviate the amount of administration we were doing while also trying to develop it4. This was a somewhat bold move because Strell had not been active prior and his administrative experience, while he had some, dated back to the days of the remnants of Team Chaos. However, the community and staff accepted the new addition.

A white-page consisted of the website for almost three months. As for the community, it is sitting right in the middle of its posting highs and lows. Some members that left during the spam war that previous fall have returned.

As it4 goes up PLDH.net is unsure of what it is. New members trickle in but generally have little impact on the big picture. Vets feel the air is stale and would like something new, socially. We wait to see if it4 can add new blood at a noticable level.

The Cocoon

March 2008 - June 2008 |During i4.0

The white page was replaced in late March with the new iteration of the website. Mikkel and nza were focused on continued development of the site and WikiZam. Strell was running the staff. And the community? The spam-war had drawn to close, many were bitter about the conclusion; a new forum had been introduced to allow for spam-like activity.

The relative absence of the known staffers and many posters may have been factors in the decline in daily posting. No RPs were being played, that was certainly a factor. Regardless of what contributed and despite a shiny new site a level of uncertainty surrounded the community and the future of PLDH.

WikiZam was used primarily by members to write about themselves, run tournaments and have fun joking around. This was fine with the administrators, and there was a bit of useful content being added but Mikkel and nza felt the concentration dissapate. For awhile, though, WikiZam contributed to a resurgance in tournament activity, which was more than welcomed.

By May it was clear that community support for WikiZam was waning. Mikkel introduced the concept of a Wiki to nza as a way of getting the community involved in developing the site and also in participating in writing its content. There was some interest but not enough to make WikiZam feel successful. It remained up but the administrators paid less and less attention to it.

Frustration had overcome both Mikkel and nza by the end of May. Strell's attendance was low, the forums were un-maintained, WikiZam was a failure, projects had stacked up and to top it off several tumbleweeds were seen drifting through the forum. nza took a vacation and so did Mikkel.

As both Mikkel and nza were leaving and the appointment of Strell to admin wasn't working a search was done for someone to run things in their absence. Jimmy Kudo, it was decided, would take the reins.

The Dictator!

June 2008 - September 2008 |During i4.0

While I think it is unfair to call Jimmy out for how he decided to run things there is really no other way to describe this period; all staffers, at the time would be hard-pressed to describe it any other way as well.

Jimmy took charge instating new rules for the staff, set required meeting dates, mandated bans that were the subject of argument and more.

Perhaps the most controvertial part of Jimmy's control was the GTS2 survey and how it was conducted. Avoiding details its results had to be scrapped and were the center of a major infight. The size and degree of which are great enough for it to bear mentioning here but also to warrant being discrete...

His leadership was strict but in some ways it was effective. Despite how bad it sounded members remained (or left and later returned). He managed to complete a project (the collecting and assembling data for Statuses, which would later be used by nza to write that section in /guides/) and oversaw attempted restarts of Member Rates and the NewsPaper. While those restarts ultimately failed his heart was in the right place.

Regardless of strict things were and how his leadership may be judged Jimmy's heart was in the right place. The required meetings were meant to help brainstorm and bring together the group behind everything. He was essentially trying to be the glue that held it together.

Mikkel stopped in periodically to check on things, generally finding a mess, though to no individuals own fault but rather as a result of widespread disagreement.

nza stopped by periodically, generally to discuss My Pokémon Ranch and to work on adding the GameFAQs guide to the actual website, with some help from Teej.

As well, to celebrate the site's second birthday a little contest was held. Members were allowed to create their own idea of the ideal banner for the website. Superflous turned in one depicting all of the Regis. It was used the longest but unfortunately it wasn't the most memorable. No, the most memorable of the submitted was the one designed by Jimmy Kudo. It was hideous. However, the promise that any banners that were submitted would be used was being fulfilled. That banner actually perfectly depicts the state of the community and website at the time. So, its ultimately pretty symbolic. ElefantRider's banner was never put up as per nza's being gone. nza owes ElefantRider a style or something for breaking that promise...

See the banners that were submitted and approved for the birthday contest below...

Restoring the Faith

September 2008 - January 2009 |During i4.1

By the summer's end, after the olympics, the Democratic and Republican Conventions and another fall semester of school getting underway... nza returned.

Mikkel was around, trying his best to clean things up and keep order. His presence overshadowed Jimmy's and began to calm things down with the staff. However he and nza had been brainstorming how to once and for all end the nonsense...

It was decided that the best way to end all conflict, to kill the religion that had formed, would be to completely abolish the staff and the moderator heirarchy that had been in-place since the beginning. Mikkel, Dale and nza would remain the only administrators. Admittance to the administrative user-level would be decided based only on need and would require one of the current administrators to step down.

How would moderation of the forum occur, you may be thinking. An account called the ModBot was created. Selected members, with squeaky clean histories, were chosen by the administrators to moderate anonymously. Since the introduction of ModBot and the abolition of the staff heirarchy, no feuds have occured at all. The religion that was being birthed from the stringent rules was also laid to rest. More lenient rules have also contributed to this considerable success.

Jimmy took great insult from this change and has been relatively scarce around the forums since. Despite that, there is no animosity of any kind toward him.

Platinum was on the horizon and Teej and Ze Colonel were waiting in the rafters to get their hands dirty. They had an idea that they believed was capable of seriously picking up the community.

This period, I believe is the real turning point. The idea that Teej and Ze (short for Ze Colonel) had had was a YouTube channel. They had planned it all out, playthrough videos of Platinum. And so it was, on September 11 the YouTube channel launched and so was Teej and Ze's plan.

Teej and Ze's Platinum YouTube campaign was a major success. To date many of the videos from this play through have over 50,000 views each. We are proud of this statistical land-mark.

While the YouTube campaign was underway nza began retooling the website. First the backend scripts were modified. The work done from September 17-21 laid the groundwork for the ease of control of the website, it simplified the scripts and they began to be self-controlling.

The Gyarados of Kanagawa style was introduced, the YouTube channel was taking off and Platinum pages were being added. The site's character had become artistic and rooted in history. The community's faith in itself was being restored, the website was being healed.

Soon arrived December. PLDH would get another reason to celebrate the holiday season as its PokéDex was completed. The introduction of the Dex is considered a serious accomplishment primarily because its development had been a community effort back in 2007. The project failed then, was started again but on hold for the development of i4 and then again over then summer of 2008. In the fall it restarted for the last time under the single-handed effort of nza and concluded with major data contributions from Mikkel. The Dexes launch signified what was once considered an impossible obstacle being overcome and further propelled the community's confidence.

Duck_Norris was heavily involved in his engagement and feeling very disenfranchised. The conclusion of The Dictator! era hit him harsher than most and rightly so. It was decided, being historically the first of the current administrative to achieve the position in July of 2006, during v1, that he would maintain administrative powers. However, his absence was felt so Mikkel and nza sought to fill the position. It was Teej's outstanding contributions and work ethic that elected him to the position of third acting administrator. At time of writing it has been nearly a year since appointment and no notable conflict has arised regarding Teej and his position. A testament to him, the community and the newly implemented system.

Building on the Successes

January 2009 - May 2009 |During i4.1

Administrator Duck_Norris (DALE) was married in January!

Teej and Ze continued their success with the PLDHnet YouTube account by doing what was dubbed a Viewer's Choice Run. The idea was to let the subscribers to the channel decide which game Teej and Ze would play next, the decision was to watch Pokémon Crystal. Following this play-through videos were made for English Pokémon Platinum. By the spring concentration was on news, HeartGold/SoulSilver were announced and Pokémon Sunday videos were a must-do and a hit with the viewers.

The community itself was content. This was especially true when, as a result of not having updated the forum software, spambots began mass registering and posting. Much hilarity ensued as a result of the posted topics and topics posted by actual members imitating the spam threads. Eventually this situation was taken control of but it certainly tested the ModBot concept (a welcomed success by the way), the newly appointed Teej and even brought about some attention from DALE.

Unfortunately it was clear, at this point that member turnover from YouTube to the actual website was low and baffling both Ze and nza as to why.

The site advancements made in September came to fruition now. nza had completed the news engine and a SQL driven CMS (Content Management System) for the entire website. Migration was easy and now full control of the website was in the hands of willing members. This allowed for the death of WikiZam and the end of the content conflict (though it was technically decided during the prior fall that WikiZam was dead and was to remain up to collect whatever could be from it before deletion).

With the news engine and CMS up and running Ze took charge and began pumping out news regarding HGSS at an alarming rate. He can even boast, for several stories, beating out all other major news sites in publishing stories first. Being ontop of the news, in congress with the PokéDex and expanded /guides/ sections had contributed to a serious rise in hits. Registrations still suffered, however.

Mikkel spent much of the spring concentrating on exams and developing the TM Series (Tools of Mikkel). These Tools are primarily a series of calculators and useful applications written in Java to help players without needing to use the internet. The applications are downloadable. At time of writing he still assembling an umbrella application (single program rather than a series of smaller ones) and has some other fairly complex tools that he is working out.

The fourth iteration of the website officially becomes the longest living. At this point it has five different appearances/styles and shows no sign of aging.

May ends with the release of PokéTracker. A tool which allows members to personally create Pokémon movesets to share. This is another landmark accomplishment. PokéRates had been a major focus of the community for years but suffered setbacks and periods of disinterest. The death of WikiZam would mark the death of PokéRates as they stood at that point in time. PokéTracker marks the return and does so in the most efficient format possible.

Reining It In

May 2009 - October 2009|During i4.1

The summer was primarily a time of relaxing, covering HGSS news and preparing for the September release in Japan.

During this time Teej and Ze Colonel are able to release their 200th YouTube video. While it is a landmark event it deserves extra note here for the reason that its production was plagued with setbacks. Consider this, it had been in production even before May, when a teaser was released. It wasn't released until September, just before HGSS coverage began.

The GTS3 (The Third Global Temperature Survey) was taken. For the first time ever it was done with complete anonymity via a web-form which submitted directly to a database table; this rather than being conducted on a forum where its impossible to be anonymous and trust rests in the hands of the collector.

Being anonymous the results were very helpful, moreso than either of the two previous GTS polls. THero even stopped by to take it (I know this because he pointed out an error with it early on...)!

As for the community, it remained at a posting level that had been consistent for nearly eight months, roughly two-hundred fifty posts-per-day. Conversation was naturally rooted around HGSS.

In July the site celebrated its third birthday. No formal announcement or celebration this time... For some reason...

However the PokéDex was updated in preparation for HGSS. The update, dubbed Dex2o, also included updates to its auto-suggest feature and introduced a series of user settings. The customizability of the PokéDex now it made the most efficient Dex on the internet. An ItemDex was added which left only a LocationsDex to call it 100% complete.

As well PokéTracker is updated. It consists of public sharing of movesets and privately saving Pokémon online. MyDex is also introduced, which allows members to track their ingame PokéDex online using various views (for instance a list of Swarming Pokémon and which have been caught). This data is shared with the on-site PokéDex along with another tool, the SpriteLinker. The SpriteLinker is updated to house sprites from all generations and even includes sprites from side-games.

In September HGSS is released. To celebrate this two new site appearances were introduced (100BurntBranches for Ho-Oh and GiaChrome for Lugia). The default site appearance for visitors changes to GiaChrome. This marks the beginning of a resurgance in member registrations. Major credit goes to the HGSS YouTube video campaign run by Teej and Ze. The campaign has resulted in the release of over 150 videos and countless registrations. Not to mention the fact that total video views at the channel break 500,000 during this time.

PLDH LiVE, a tool designed initially as a news hub for HGSS news was launched on September ninth. The LiveStream embedded on that page is also credited as a contributor to renewed registrations setting a site record for unique hits to a page on the site in a single day (1,894 at its peak).