It seems like a long time ago that I was first shown the main site by the (then-)girlfriend of my older brother, must have been about five or six years ago. It took some time, but 5 years ago I joined these forums under the username 'PokemasterJ', I admit back then I was a greenhorn. However, over the years my knowledge of Pokémon grew, and I met a handful of nice people here. However, now, I have to fly from the nest, and finally throw in the towel.
I have been here for five long years, and I have seen some changes. When I first joined it was a nice, welcoming community, but something changed. In recent years I noticed rules getting stricter, and members getting grouchier. I found myself every year getting my signature deleted for breaking the rules which I have to admit, and I have shown them to other people and they agree, they are too strict. Last time I was banned for such an offence I actually emailed Serebii telling him how ridiculous I found it that I get banned for such an offence when people who openly troll got away with it, which led to a tighter crackdown on that. I remember when Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness was still new, and I kept on trying to organise that forum, heck, around it's release most of the sticky topics were mine. I remember when I got my early ONM which had the release date of My Pokémon Ranch, and I emailed Serebii - getting my username on the main site - I felt it to be such an honour. But why did I? It's simple - the egos on this forum.
The staff here, I have noticed, have such huge egos. There are a lot of them who are quick to smack down a newbie for making a simple mistake, or correct them with a rude tone of voice. Sure, there are those nice staff members I have come across who have been nice to people when they deserve it. However, the sheer pomposity on this forum appals me. I myself help co-run a Pokémon Community, that, although is not as big as this - one characteristic we look for staff members, above everything else, is their character, and we have yet to have a problem with any staff member, although we have been around for five years. We can have a laugh and joke without getting an infraction for spamming, or a moderator jumping in telling people to stop spamming (unless it gets too severe), it's a nice community, and being there really shown me what this place is missing - heart. Sure, Serebii has grown a lot since 'Joe's Pokémon Page' and I will not deny it is a big part of the Pokémon fandom, but in terms of the community it possesses, it is saddening and rather mechanic - it is no longer a place where one can have fun.
The thought of leaving has been on my mind for at least a year or so now, but I have finally decided to pack my bags in. Every day it seems I am growing more and more irritated here, in fact, recently the only things I'd do is hang around Alt. Card Discussion or HeartGold SoulSilver discussion, and I admit - during my 3 weeks of being banned I did briefly check every now and again for any news on HGSS (no I didn't create an Alt, it's called deleting cookies...sure there isn't a rule against that) and during then I truly realised that it is not necessary for me to be a part of the forums any more - the only thought that kept me here.
I do not want anyone to think that my reasons for leaving is me being butthurt over my latest ban, as I was only unbanned yesterday, I want them to know the reasons why, and if this thread is deleted, then it will show the true colours of this forum, as yes - it will be screenshotted. I have made a select few friends here, and those that I need, I already have other ways to contact them. I cannot promise I shall never return, there may well be a time, but it definitely won't be for a long time. I seriously recommend the admins re-look their criteria for promotion to staff, and some of their rules (especially the signature rules) with some level-headed, human thinking, or else I wouldn't be surprised if other people take my example.
I've had some fun here, I will not deny that. However, lately I have just been plagued and annoyed by this place and feel that the beautiful rose bush I once knew has now began to show it's thorns. If any of you still wish to keep in touch with me, I email address is in my profile. I would also name the site I co-run, but that would be advertising.
So it is with great sadness and regret that I shall be clicking the Log Out button for the last time - but it is not without it's reasons. I don't know if I will ultimately miss this place, as it's said you never truly miss something until it's gone, but only time will tell. Farewell to everyone here, I wish you all the best - and perhaps a happier community?
- Kakashi Sharingan Warrior
26th August 2004 - 2nd September 2009