Here's a few things I've finally come to realize over the last year about F&L...
I've been thinking that I can tweak the guide only so much nowadays because I've pretty much taken it to endpoint of what it will ever be. There are some basic changes I can make like taking out the Yuki mods section and replacing it with darth's mod, but otherwise there isn't any real overhauls I can really do anymore.
For a long time I've been bouncing around the idea of stripping the guide down and rebuilding it from scratch. I'd do this mostly in private since I wouldn't just do that all at once since that would throw a big wrench in F&L right now. I wouldn't switch them out till the new one have at least 75% done. I think I just miss building something from nothing instead of rebuilding what I already have over and over again. I started F&L in October of 2013, so it's about time to revamp the whole thing. I just can't work the guide anymore with the same affinity I once had and that will only lead to something that is lower quality. I kept telling myself I could just return after a break, but that isn't it. I took it as far as I could, but now it's time for something new.
The guide has always tried to balance four main things; realism, lore, immersion, and fun. The problem I personally have with that is that fun is really the only one that ever mattered to me. I find a lot of realism is only for the sake of realism, which is pointless. Lore is great, but after your 20th playthrough it just doesn't matter anymore. I've never been immersed in any game if I'm being honest. I just don't think I'm wired that way. Everything I did with F&L was with two thing in mind. I wanted to make the guide in a way that would appeal to lots of users (who mostly want realism and immersion). Hopefully everyone that used it felt there was something in it that they enjoyed. Then I did it just to see if I could do it all my own. Of course it wasn't 100% me (there has been plenty of help along the way), but there really isn't any part of the guide that doesn't have my hands on it. I don't think there are any supplemental guides on the STEP site that aren't a showcase of the author that started it. SRLE without Neo or C&PD without Kelmych is just an idea people talk about without anything to show for it. It's part of what makes STEP, as a community, special. That we have these individual creations that become their own communities within the larger one. Without other users pushing me along, F&L would just be a disorganized mess and maybe about 40% of the mods wouldn't even be there. A lot of that input really did go into the guide while I was plodding along adding one section after another and added pages for this or that to make sure it covered every inch in case even one user wanted it. Not sure where I'm going with all this, but I think what I'm trying to get to, is that I made the guide mostly for other people to enjoy, but about a year ago, I just didn't have the time, patience, or fortitude to keep doing it for other people. I want to do it for a different reason now. Not that I stopped liking people, just that I have hit a limit of what I can give with this particular project. I don't want to get rid of F&L or anything like that, but I do want to create something again. FNV is probably my favorite game of all time, or at least my favorite game to mod endlessly, so I want to do more with it. What exactly that is, I don't know yet, but I know it won't be more of the same.
Way back when it hit 10K page views I was like "Holy crap, this is amazing." Now it's probably over 2 million, but we don't track that anymore and I still can't believe people liked it enough to use it that much. But, I did kinda prove that I could make a guide people want to use. I even inspired a couple other users to make their own guides. If I'm being honest, it all got a little out of hand.
At some point, you have to let things go and knowing when to do that is the hard part. I think this is the right time though. I haven't been around much this year anyways, so it is time for me to just tidy things up and keep F&L up-to-date, but forget about big projects within the guide itself. I can do more good if I move on to something different.
So, after 3 1/2 years I'm going to stop adding things or saying that I will come in a do a bunch of work that I never end up getting around to. It's just easier for everyone if I finally just say that enough is enough. I'm sure there are other people who will pop in from time to time for an edit here or there, like Mono or Audley, but I'm just going to do maintenance from here on out. I've forgotten more people that came around to help than people I can remember, but everyone that did help in anyway was awesome for doing so. We do this for free, so it says something about people that give their time to help out without the need to receive anything in return. Thank you all for putting up with me this whole time.
If you bought ticket, I hope you enjoyed the ride. - SRB