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» The Future of CNCSeries


Given that the site has been down for most of the past month and a half, I thought it would be a good idea to inform you of where the site currently stands, and, of course, our ideas in regard to its future.

Hosting Situation:
After trouble with Telefragged, we left their server to join another one operated by a Hosting Company. Things didn't go to plan on the new server; it was of poor quality and quite buggy. Needless to say, it's hard drive soon burnt out: the server was gone.

In the second half of February, the search for a new, reliable host began. Thankfully, one was found in the form of PCG Central, ran by a good friend, Jonathan "Apoc" Smith. The new server that we were placed on was of extremely high quality; running a plesk system and having unlimited quotas on most aspects of the site. The server also has over a gig of RAM!

The site is currently working well on the new server, and as we notice any stuff with the server that needs configuring, the problem is quickly rectified. We hope to stay with PCGC for a very long time.

Staff Situation:
During December & January, our staff size was drastically reduced: several members were asked to leave as a result of inactivity, and a group of members resigned to go onto other things.

However, the core of our staff remains intact - the loss in numbers has been of little effect; perhaps it was even for the best - a small group of dedicated members is far more effective as a team compared to a large group containing less than dedicated members.

We will be opening several positions at the site shortly, as we do want to increase our content in several areas of the site. New news updaters will also be hired in order to take the weight of staff members who are currently posting most of the news (I.E. me). Our news coverage still remains extremely fast and informative; we will make sure it stays this way.

Extension:
The beauty of this site is that it grows constantly; there is new content regularly. The site is full of content; organising the menu to your left is a nightmare - whilst we have to keep it reasonable in length, we don't want to miss out links to any of our sections or pages. We plan to keep extending our site in several areas. Specifically, we plan on introducing a large strategy section into our Renegade area in the near future. We hope to have the same success with our Renegade strategies as we have done with our Red Alert 2 ones; we have the best strategy section on the net for Ra2 - and will do our best do make it a similar situation with our Renegade section.

We do plan to rapidly extend our Renegade section over the coming months; make no mistake about it, we will be covering it in the same depth and detail that we did with Ra2.

Other areas that are scheduled for more updates are all of our features section, save for the Ra2 strategy guide - I will not be making a Yuri's Revenge update for it, even though I did admittedly say I would ve a few months ago. I have decided that the time spent to update it would not be worth it in terms of how much it would actually help you with Yuri's Revenge; the guide covers most of the aspects of Yuri's Revenge anyhow - just not information on strategies for new units (which one can find by browsing the other sections/forums on this site).

One section that will not be extended any further is the Emperor: Battle For Dune one; it has not been updated in several weeks although it does still draw a few hundred visitors to the site every day. The section will remain in it's current state for the foreseeable future.

Forums:
In the past few days, we've installed and customised our new vBulletin forums. vBulletin forums are far superior to any other forum script; especially our last one, Ultimate Bulletin Board. The new forums contain an array of features that our previous ones did not, they also work a lot faster due to their PHP backend (as opposed to CGI like Ultimate Bulletin Board). vBulletin forums are the best on the web, hence we've gone out and spent $85/£60 for your benefit, as well as ours ;) We hope you will enjoy the new forums.

Site Interface:
Since we moved off Geocities, we have been using SSI as our storage format. Without getting too technical, we may, please stress the word may, change over to a PHP backend - which would allow us to customise the site and various sections far more easily. It is a far more powerful system than the SSI one that we currently employ. If were to make the change, then it would be a mammoth task - several hundred pages would require converting to the new format probably. Anyway, it's something we are thinking about for the future.

Conclusion:
Though we've had a torrid time in the past month or so, I feel confident that very good times lay ahead for this site. We now have the backing of a reliable and competent host, as well as a crisp, new layout. With Renegade due for release any day, and Westwood bound to make an announcement in the next few months in regards to at least one of the two CNC RTS games currently in development, there is both a very promising future for both this site and the Command & Conquer Series itself.

Jim's Input:
Of course, no article on this site goes without some input from Jim (maybe due to his position as articles boss?). Anyhow, without further ado, I present Jim's thoughts in regard to the future:

When I first came into the super site "Red 2 World", I was young, immature, and knew little of the mysterious Westwood studios. Many moons have passed since I first emailed the ever-knowledgable Rob asking to join the family. I'm still young, and still immature - But my knowledge of Westwood, the way they operate, and their games, has increased. Dramatically.

With our site beginning it's virtual puberty, and springing new sections all over the place, I assumed that we would be eternally faithful to the original Red Alert 2 focus of the site. And then some Renegade screenshots began to filter out of Westwood. Then some more came. Then some beta testers gave it gleaming reports. Make no mistake: This looked good. So we expanded, and gave birth to "Red 2 World: Renegade". Alas, the duty of maintaining two sites meant maintaining two sets of staff, two sets of News, and two sets of CGI scripts proved too much. While we pride ourselves as being the cream of the WW fansite network - We aren't as dedicated as the Demi-God Lion who runs a zillion sites simultaneously.

And so, the decision was made to finally integrate all of your hormonal wargasm-esque impulses into one site: CNC Series was born. This decision wasn't taken lightly. Red 2 World had become somewhat of an institution: With over 500,00 visits in it's short history, the homepage, and it's illegitimate sub-sections focusing on Renegade and Battle For Dune had to be mashed together in a grand pot.

What will the future hold for CNC Series.com? Well, what will the future of Command and Conquer be? The two are forever bound: Both of their fates are in the hands of Westwood and their dedicated team. Expansion pack for Renegade anybody? Command and Conquer: Tiberian Twilight for sir?

These star crossed lovers first kissed under a bleak November sky somewhere in the small village of Mawdesley. They have blossomed for over a year. But will they pass away to the reverberating sound of Helicopters through the flight of the Valkeries, stumble to the ground under fire to the theme of Barber's Adagio, or simply sink into virtual oblivion. Which ever Vietnam film reference you choose - Let's hope we can all ride off into the CNC Sunset. I'll stop the poetry now.

Jim

So the basic message is: miss us, miss out.

» Rob

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