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DEATH OF MINIATURE TRADING? (MUST READ)
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a7xfanben
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Subject: DEATH OF MINIATURE TRADING? (MUST READ)   PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:23 pm Reply with quote

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - PLEASE READ

Through some messages with the admin (seen below), I have received some truly terrible news. Crying or Very sad

This started when someone at the Discord talked about how the forum search function was harder to find than the white text box site search function. I sent a message about that, and got this in return:


Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad

My message back, also from the email notification:


The Admin was responding via the sister site Trade Cards Online (TCO), and these pictures come from my messages section there.

I wanted full confirmation before informing the Pirates community, so here is a message I sent after waiting a few days:


Earlier today:


My most recent response:


So. Things are in BIG trouble. Sad I'd say this is probably the worst news the Pirates CSG community has gotten since the "cards-only" flop version was announced in 2011 or whenever. It has certainly put a damper on my week.

Any non-confidential information I receive will be shared in this thread and posted as it comes available to me. I want to keep everyone informed about any and all information that we can use.

HOWEVER, this is just the beginning. Three months gives us plenty of time to recover and save tons of information from the site, even if there is no coming back. In addition, I have already sent a message to Cardmarket, which you can see below.


I actually have an account at CardMarket (guess I'll abbreviate CM for now - not cargo master haha) from earlier this year because I made about 5 euros from two people buying premium on MT through my affiliate link. I didn't know it until this year, but CM apparently acts as the way MT (and TCO I would imagine) distributes these payments (prior to this year I just had Friendship Points from referrals, never premium commissions).

It is time to reach out to CardMarket and let them know how badly we need to see Miniature Trading survive!!!!!!

From the above picture you can see their basic contact email address. They say their contact form is the best way to contact them. I sent the same message through that before copying and pasting it into an email message as well. Unfortunately you seem to need an account to use the contact form, so email would be easier. Do both if possible.

Feel free to post here if you've contacted them, with your message if you want/etc. And any information you receive back from them should obviously be posted here.

I think it is slightly too early to talk about alternatives, but BoardGameGeek is the only other acceptable forum for the game in my opinion. I say this because the organization (or COMPLETE LACK thereof) of the systems at Facebook, reddit, and Discord are nothing compared to what we have here at Miniature Trading. The main problem I think about right now is solvency. The "giants" mentioned above are likely to survive for far longer than Miniature Trading, but in my opinion only BGG is capable of supporting this great community the way it needs. They don't have a fleets and Miniature Reviews section, but those could be done with the forum categories/etc. I have had a middling to subpar experience at BGG overall, so I'm not highly recommending it. It's just the only other site with the proper forum features to be a "replacement". I have thought about trying to build some kind of forum off my own Pirates CSG fansite, Pirates with Ben. Only time will tell what solutions seem best and most practical. Other solutions such as a free forum like the custom set forum are dubious and could dissolve or suffer a similar fate as MT. Personally, I'd like to just host things myself and pay for it for the peace of mind, rather than relying on an external entity/company/website for preserving things. To that end I may look heavily into further expanding my fansite to make it more of a community site. (no promises, but hopefully, especially if people show interest)

SAVING AND DOCUMENTING INFORMATION

After receiving the bad news in that message on August 20th, I began what could become a long project of archiving and saving stuff from Miniature Trading. I know the Wayback Machine could be great for this, but between photobucket, postimages, and now Miniature Trading (and other past Pirates sites), I don't really trust any of these online entities. So I'd rather keep stuff myself and rely on nothing but my own devices and "the cloud".

I have already begun transferring some of my longer and more useful/informative posts (Huge Game Legacy, Beginner's Guide, etc) to Pirates with Ben to be posted as pages or posts in the future.

Beyond saving things as text files and copying and pasting text from the forums and whatnot, we can take PICTURES! You can search your computer for a preinstalled Snipping Tool, which I have used a lot (including the messages above).

However, an even better solution for saving threads, fleets, and Miniature Reviews:
Full Page Screen Capture

Very Happy I just started using this a few days ago, and it is FANTASTIC. It also carries a 5/5 star rating from nearly 20,000 reviews. It works pretty quickly and grabs the entire page by scrolling your browser window.

WHAT I HAVE SAVED SO FAR:
Contacting NECA/Wizkids
Coolest part of Pirates CSG? (for you)
Could WE restart Pirates?
Rules for Pirates: Economy Edition
The Fleet Challenge Archives!
Fleet Challenge ideas thread
First Ever FLEET REVIEW!!
How did they do it?
Help determining when patents expire/etc
News on Pirates!!!
Miniature Trading database of all 13 sets (uploaded to imgur)
Ocean Terrain Contest #3
All of my Miniature Reviews
All of my Fleets
Now all of the threads under “Very Useful Threads” in the Thread of Threads have been saved. https://imgur.com/a/yF3hU5L
My Haves and Wants
A few things from Game Ideas:
PotCS Adventure Book Game Scenarios
Circle of Blood
Water World
Custom Ships Organized Version
Pirates items not from boosters: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3948///
Ways to improve the haves/needs lists: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3487///
Spanish Main OP0393: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=5386///
What constitutes a "Complete Set"? http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/p=62628///#62628
Tracking WK prize kits: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3211///
WK Code lists for OP and PP - can you add to it? http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=4237///
Database Survey: Hey Democracy works. . .sometimes: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3501///
Buyer Beware - eBay Primer for Pirates: http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3690///
Mastercommander’s Blue Heron review: http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/showCardReview/review_id/5947
Rarest ship? http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=5621///
Strange cards... Who is he? An early version if Myngs? http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3226///
Scandinavian Islands - I got them http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3713///
How can you identfy unlabeled islands? http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=4479///
5 Hardest Pirates Cards to Collect? http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=3597///
Ranking the rarest Pirates CSG items
http://m.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=8643///
All Rankings threads http://www.miniaturetrading.com/im/forum/viewtopic/t=8675///
https://imgur.com/a/Qs8hDqb

Edit: This paragraph is old now, refers to what I saved before first submitting this thread. Saving more as I go along. [These are all from the Thread of Threads. These were the first things I wanted to save, the top-tier best of the best things I would HATE to lose forever. I've uploaded them to postimages (not that they're trustworthy either of course haha) and will look into additional storage solutions like google drive, external storage, etc. In a post below I will try to post a picture of a forum page so you know what to expect from the extension if you want to use it (or a different one).]

I also have pretty much all of my battle reports archived in google docs, but I'll be checking those sometime to make sure I have all of them. (and in a document file as well)

Once I finish posting this, I plan to take captures of ALL the sets in the database. Saving each individual picture would take a LONG time, but perhaps there's some way to save the gallery pictures separately more easily than that. Question

Here is a list of things to think about for your personal contributions.

What should you save?
-Profile page
-Tracked Trades history and references (could come in handy for reputation on other sites)
-Fleets
-Miniature Reviews
-Haves and Wants!
-History of merit points and posts per month/etc (personal stats) (I know I'm probably the only one who has done this XD)

Once you're satisfied with saving whatever you want from your own profile/etc, feel free to save what you want from the forum/old fleets/etc. Please post here what you have saved/archived, and possibly provide a link to a public photo gallery or something if you'd like. Given the 3 month time span (hopefully the plug won't be pulled sooner....), we could pretty much archive the entire site if we wanted to and recreate it somewhere else with the files/pictures/info. Not that we need to save every thread (not nearly), but there is certainly a core chunk of Miniature Trading that would be truly awful to lose.

What else can we do? I've re-enabled ads on MT by disabling my adblocker for all of Miniature Trading's pages. The potential tiny ad revenue is not likely to help, but obviously there is some desperation in the situation. Given this disastrous news, I would hold off on any Miniature Trading related projects for now, and save any future thread ideas/etc into a document stored elsewhere.
-If you have any other ideas/etc on the situation and how best to handle it, please post your thoughts here.

Weirdly enough, postimages was not working when I tried to submit this post, so I had to use imgur to host the pictures instead. Ugh. I love this whole internet thing, but it's rather impermanent for my tastes.

I don't know the full details of the situation, but this feels eerily similar to the Wizkids shutdown and subsequent (and in hindsight, undesired) takeover by NECA. CardMarket is apparently going to take over and shut down our beloved Miniature Trading site! Sad The good news or silver lining this time, unlike back in 2008: WE HAVE A WARNING. Let's make the most of it! Very Happy

There is so much to do. So much to save. So many messages to be sent. Let's do it!! Very Happy Arrow


Last edited by a7xfanben on Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:19 pm; edited 13 times in total
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Subject: Forum within a forum!   PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:34 pm Reply with quote

Example of a full page screenshot using the extension linked above - no need to scroll yourself and take multiple snips at different scrolling levels - it takes it all.
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woelf
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:36 pm Reply with quote

Sad

If you have any Friendship Points, now's a good time to cash them in for Premium Membership. Go to your Profile and look for the "1 Month for 250 Friendship Points" button near the top. I had enough piled up for 7 months.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:01 pm Reply with quote

SAVED SO FAR:
-All 13 RtSS Sneak Peek threads
-Profile Page
-Page 1 of the Rules Thread (Mostly just for the No-Duplicates List)

The rest of the Rules thread is too big and unwieldy to bother saving, especially since the images won't be searchable. I'll work on getting the no-duplicates list reposted over on BGG sometime in the near future.


Planning to Save:
-My Fleets
-My Reviews





By the way, that utility for grabbing a screenshot of an entire page is awesome - thanks for recommendation!
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a7xfanben
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:38 pm Reply with quote

@Woelf: THANK YOU! Very Happy Indeed, the full page screen capture is great. I just got home and will continue to update on my progress with various things.

~~~~~
Check out my fansite at Pirates with Ben!
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volt
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 5:49 pm Reply with quote

This is so depressing. And confusing. I don't understand why a European based company would buy these just to shut them down. Its not like they are even competing in the same market.

Since school is starting, I doubt I will be much help right now in saving stuff. I am going to back up what little I need of my personal stuff now, and then if needed in a few weeks I can help with other stuff.

If you can't convince the new company to keep it up, and you indeed wish to expand your own personal website, I am sure a kickstarter etc for hosting the extra stuff would be something that the community would support. I just hope this new company agrees to keep it in it's current form.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:08 pm Reply with quote

volt wrote:
This is so depressing. And confusing. I don't understand why a European based company would buy these just to shut them down. Its not like they are even competing in the same market.
Maybe they see some value in the card/mini/etc. databases of the two sites (although more likely just the TCO portion, with MT along for the ride). If Card Market is planning to create their own similar site, having that data already set up maybe saves them enough time and/or money to justify buying it instead of recreating it on their own.

Maybe they see TCO/MT as potential competition, even if it's indirect.

Maybe they just want the database of users.

Maybe it's something else less obvious, but there's clearly something there to justify acquiring the site, rather than just ignoring it. If the admin just wanted out, he could have let it die quietly without CardMarket getting involved.

---------------------------------

Ben - Do you want me to email the screen grabs to you so everything can be kept in one place?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:11 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for your efforts to save the site and make others aware of the upcoming events. I've also written the CardMarket staff an email about the acquisition; hopefully others here do the same.

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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:18 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
Ben - Do you want me to email the screen grabs to you so everything can be kept in one place?


If you want, sure! postimages acting up recently has only added to the confusion on my end, but I can certainly keep things on my computer and upload them to imgur and elsewhere for backups and additional safety.

No obligation from anyone, but if you want to send anything to me, my email is simply my username (a7xfanben) @gmail.com.

@gamer_2k4: Thanks for emailing them!

~~~~~
Check out my fansite at Pirates with Ben!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:38 pm Reply with quote

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Subject: Progress update   PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:13 am Reply with quote

Might start doing a daily post of my progress on stuff. Going to be raw and random, partly just as a way for me to keep track of what I've done and tasks/etc for the next day+.

8/24/2018
Started running httrack from recommendation at subreddit. Entered homepage url of MT for site to “mirror”, will leave computer on and let it run.
Created a new Pirates-based Gmail account, primarily for data storage and backup
-Made a primitive/starter forum at PwB, tested functions of logging in/out and posting successfully via a second account. Much work to be done with it, but basics seem to work.
Used google sheets embedding to put spreadsheet of Customs on My Custom Stuff page
Experimenting on this due to possibility of an google sheets or excel-based database that could be embedded/etc into my site
Key would be to have a searchable database that could be filtered/etc. (hoping the plugin can help with that)
-Plugin does not display my Customs spreadsheet properly - through some searching it seems I should edit the stylesheet/css, which I’ll probably try to figure out unless another option seems better. (current page is simple embedding, not using plugin)
https://wordpress.org/plugins/inline-google-spreadsheet-viewer/#other_notes
https://maymay.net/blog/projects/inline-google-spreadsheet-viewer/
-Any way to easily download all Pirates database pictures from MT? (just the picture files, so we can host them elsewhere and still have them) (already sent a different message to admin about something else, but may inquire about this possibility as well)
-Saved all of my Miniature Reviews: https://imgur.com/a/gp9MpIU (will also be posting them to my fansite Pirates with Ben as time allows)

~~~~~
Check out my fansite at Pirates with Ben!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:52 am Reply with quote

8/25/2018

Got email from user from reddit who recommended httrack - will look into details of stuff tomorrow
Ran httrack “update” or “fix” of some kind on the original mirroring process from MT’s homepage - seems to have updated the data on my computer, as the directory seems larger (way too much to look at/decipher)
Got this amusing message from the log file errors once it finished:
"23:00:30 Panic: Too many URLs, giving up..(>100000)"
-This second process took about 16 hours (23 is 11pm Military Time locally I guess), very similar to the first. Might need to investigate running httrack on more limited urls (rather than trying to capture ALL of Miniature Trading lol)
Saved my oldest page of fleets, hope to save rest tomorrow https://imgur.com/a/jpcGciI
-I’ve been uploading pictures (of fleets/MR/forum pages) to a combination of google drive, imgur, and postimages for extra backup and security
Overwhelmed, but making progress! Hoping to make progress on various stuff every day.
(and yes, I’m posting this at BGG and my fansite so it won’t disappear forever if MT suddenly dissolves)

~~~~~
Check out my fansite at Pirates with Ben!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:58 pm Reply with quote

Please let me know if you want threads unlocked so you can edit posts in them to save the raw text. (rather than copying the text from the thread's page, or taking a picture of the page)

~~~~~
Check out my fansite at Pirates with Ben!
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:55 pm Reply with quote

Working on pertinent stuff on page 13 of the forum, not including the things already archived. I'll keep updating this post.

Captured:
Draft Fleet Challenge Sign-up and Discussion
Draft Fleet Challenge Pools
Pirates of the Cerulean Seas
Airships and Aeroplanes
Battle Diary: Nation Fleet #6
New Pirates CSG Concepts for a New Age


Last edited by ephantmon on Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Subject:    PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:15 pm Reply with quote

ephantmon wrote:
Working on pertinent stuff on page 13 of the forum, not including the things already archived.

Captured:
Draft Fleet Challenge Sign-up and Discussion
Draft Fleet Challenge Pools


THANK YOU!! Very Happy

~~~~~
Check out my fansite at Pirates with Ben!
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