So, what’s the latest?

The Last Alliance website ( suffered a major blow last month when the hosting company took the drastic steps of deleting the source-code and database backups. Not 100% sure of the reasons for their behaviour but I can make some guesses.

Anyway, there are a couple of thousand LOTR gamers who feel betrayed and abandoned as a result of this. A number of TLA refugees began to trickle in to the One Ring and I could see that several established members of the site were starting to feel disgruntled at the newer residents. It’s a common and predictable reaction to an influx of ‘newcomers’ into an established community and one that I see repeatedly here in Australia and read about in other parts of the world all the time.

So I have spent the past couple of weeks attempting to resurrect TLA. My intentions in doing so are an odd mixture of philanthropy and selfishness. I feel compassion for those who have been abandoned and betrayed by the thoughtlessness that led to the collapse of their site, yet I really don’t want 2000 newcomers overwhelming the One Ring.

I could see that the people who most wanted to rescue TLA didn’t have the right skills to do the job, nor did they have any real plan of action. It seemed to me that all their eagerness was going to waste because they didn’t know how or where to begin.

So I have arranged for some webspace and put a temporary forum there for people to gather and keep abreast of the developments. While this is in place I have begun building a new version of TLA using a different approach, more in line with or It’s odd though, because I have somehow become the key player in two large LOTR websites now and yet I never intended to have a major part in any of them. And on top of that I have offered to assist with their technical problems too (haven’t heard back from them yet).

Maybe I should start charging people.

8 thoughts on “So, what’s the latest?

  1. Maybe you should Alan. There’s definitely a pattern emerging here. Is there a superhero costume available for someone who habitually rescues failing LotR gaming fansites?

    Now, as well as being the patron saint of wargame terrain making, you have become the patron saint of website rescuance (Is that a word? If not, it should be!) At least among the LotR gaming fraternity.

    If not payment, then at least a couple of statues are in order…


  2. Running too many sites is for sure a risk since your excellent site could get less attendence. That would be a pity. However your idea to resurrect TLA in order to keep the place for every member where it was is a good one. Moreover I really liked the fact, that one ring´s articles always were over the top.
    We all know that TLA was the place were an average article found it´s audience and was appreciated or even accepted. Everybody was polite and got at least some stars. That was really a good system for all. I have to reject articles from time to time since they lack quality. I do not like to do this, therefore it is good to have a place for everything.
    However TLA was technically overdone and had to many features. Using a selfmade software increased the problems. Solving the problem is not easy and I would only help if the TLA community has a redaction team in order to save content to the new site.
    If you help them to run for instance a Drupal driven site with an simple article system and a somewhat secure community this should be ok. However there should be somebody at TLA who can do technical support. Otherwise they should stick to an community provider with installed software.
    Personally I faced the end of good sites due to technical problems and hosting costs several times. I changed the technic of my sites 3 times and currently I am working on a new blog extension. So if there is nobody within the huge TLA community who can program php MySQL Drupal or something like that the only thing you should help more than the Forums is to set up a WordPress for the articles.
    If you want money for your service, I wonder if TLA is able to pay for a professional service they need in a realistic amount of money. Getting a couple of bucks leads often to the customer´s feeling that he can now claim for more and better services. Money gives your help a professional touch which I cannot recommend. I am sure that Hithero will be very patient and fair even if there will be a fee for the help. But I have no idea who is currently running the site or will run the site. Obviously there is a problem with money so you should be careful. However there could be a thank-you-present after the help, miniatures e.g. are always appreciated maybe this could a way.
    This post was really lons, but as you can imagine what TLA and you are currently facing but obviously you searched for some recommendation. I hope I could help a little bit.

    All the best, Tankred

  3. Danke Tankred. I appreciate your comments and advice very much.

    Firstly, I was joking about getting paid for this.

    The fundamental problem with TLA was that its programmer and leader lost interest in the hobby and the website and, even though he didn’t care any more, he wouldn’t give the site over to Hithero for some reason. Again, I can make some guesses why he wouldn’t, but I won’t say anything publicly.

    The software I am using is WordPress and phpBB3. There are a number of off-the-shelf modifications available that will link the two together and add to the functionality of the site and I have already got these working nicely. And the graphic design is something I will do also if no one else can do any better. It’s just too expensive to get a professional graphic designer to design it.

    I should mention that I will not be running TLA once the reconstruction is finished. I will hand the keys over to Kain and Hithero and they can run it. I will go back to running One Ring and leave them to it. If they had the skills to do it themselves, then I would have left them to it.

    The new (temporary) site is located at

  4. Gerne Dagorlad, sorry that I did not get the irony, that is not easy in a foreign Language. However setting up a blog is a piece of work which can be charged, so thinking about it is not a bad idea.

    However your concept sounds good, phpBB and WordPress are good tools, if you manage to keep the design simple your work load shouldn´t bee incredible high. this could be an excellent start for Kaine and Hithero who both did always care about TLA.

    So finger crossed that you will manage everything soon and help to save TLA.

  5. alan the bell of lost souls site looks like it uses I could be wrong but you might want to look at it.

  6. To be honest, if I’d save TLA, it would be more for selfishness then compassion. I was one of the OR members that felt a little disgruntled by the massive influx of TLA members, who posted once or twice then left for good.
    I have to thank you once again for taking the initiative to rebuild TLA (and get rid of it’s members on the OR if I might add)so that everything might go back to the way it was, and that the OR community that I’ve come to know and love never change.:)
    Oh and Tankred… bist du Deutsch? XD

  7. To be fair, the influx was due to there being nowhere else for them to go. True, many of them left as soon as there was an alternative, but if I hadn’t given them that alternative they would probably still be active on One Ring.

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