As many of you know, the company that makes our forum software, Invision Power, is closing the chat function at the end of this month. This means that AE Chat as an integrated-seamless function will end at that time. A few of us (majority of chat members) decided to move to Discord to see how it worked for the greater AE community. So far it is working well and has provided new forms of engagement between users as well as allowing for people to block those they have a problem with (an issue that IP.B Chat created by not having this feature.
So what is Discord you might be wondering? Discord is a slack-like alternative to Skype and Teamspeak/Ventrilio which targeted, predominantly, the gamer community. It provides both Text and Voice chat features for free on hosted servers. It's an easy to use, cross platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and Apple OS) system contains a variety of features, some critically missing from the current system we use.
One of those lovely features is user blocking. On AE... we hate each other. A lot. Some less than others. However, the lack of an ability to block each other in chat has created more problems than good. Blocking is simple and allow you to only see their messages if you chose to "Show it". Messages still appear in the chat, but they're hidden from you.
Another nice thing about Discord is actual voice chat. Yeah, we get it. A lot of you don't actually want to talk. However, we've had great success in getting users to interact and engage with each other via voice through enslaving Sheepy and making him play games with us.
However, there are a few others things we are trying. Limited moderation. A big reason AE needed mods was because you couldn't selectively control who you speak with. One person could ruin a chat for others by acting like a fool. With the ability to block users in Discord, this is widely fixed. Less people argue and fight since they can control who they see messages from. We've set a policy to limit moderating on the Discord to only remove things that are "completely disruptive" (spam), pornography/nudity, and any thing that would be harmful.
If you're interested in joining us first you will need to click this link. https://discord.gg/zxDuGeT - From there you will need to make a Discord Account. I encourage you to sign up with a proper email address and use either the name you use on AE or a name you commonly use for your account. This account can also be used for other Discord channels unrelated to us. After that either use the web app or the downloadable program and you will be put into the AE Discord channel.