On August 2nd 2023 Habitica announced they will remove all guilds and all public chats on August 8th 2023.
For guild leaders, like me, something got destroyed within a short time, what we built up within years. The utopify guild always had slightly less than 5,000 members and the few days haven't been enough to react properly (there wasn't even time to mourn) and build up something new and most people (I even think 100%) fled to Discord. The guild existed for around 6 years on Habitica and got wiped out, because of reasons I really don't understand. Imagine those guild leaders who were on holidays at this time and came back to find nothing, not even a notification of what happened. Horrible thoughts!
But Discord is nothing utopify stands for, it is distracting and I don't want to support the company behind it. And the most important part is, that I will never trust a company or other people if it's about keeping the community safe. I trusted Habitica, which was obviously a mistake. A mistake I will not do again.
So I tried to figure out another way, which would be better than the old chat, where people can discuss specific topics and where important information don't get flushed away within minutes, but will be saved.
I immediately asked the community for help, because this was a huge task, which took a lot of time and I occupied myself with different software like XMPP and IRC, which are older software, but really robust. But they didn't fit to modern approaches of communication.
And at this point I have to say thank you to the one patron who did a private donation. It really motivated me to keep working every day for hours on a good solution, which took more than a month, but hopefully will work to keep the people on track with challenges, inspiration and motivation 🤗
After a while I played around with Fediverse software, like Mastodon, Kbin, Firefish and tried to figure out, which one fits best. The problem most have is, that they distract you from the main topics, because they have implemented stuff big corps invented to nudge you in and to keep you on the platform, like a timeline containing stuff you're not currently interested in, but could like and get distracted by it.
So all of it wasn't good until I found Lemmy. With Lemmy it is possible to put the focus on specific topics, because it is content based and not person based.
I've set up a Lemmy instance, configured it and tried to make everything usable. But every time I did something, something else broke or didn't work at all. It took a lot of time to figure stuff out and after a while I was so annoyed of how bad Lemmy was programmed, that I gave up on it, because the last issue was so huge, I had to reinstall the software and start all over. At this point I just wanted a stable software, which doesn't cause problems all the time, but can be used to have constructive discussions, define goals, share experience, inspire people and everything utopify stands for.
I throw away another 2 weeks of work and switched to a classical forum software called Flarum. Like you can see, it was the last switch and even if it has bugs, they are small ones, not critical and I reported all of them to the developers and hope they get fixed soon.
In the same announcement Habitica said they want to encourage us to continue to create high quality challenges, but they didn't provide anything what could help to even keep old challenges with the new "update". The opposite is the case, because many challengers kept their challenges in a private guild and only copied it to a public guild to start the challenge. Without the guilds and no new system to manage your challenges on Habitica, it isn't possible to keep the quality high. The only exception is, you are able to code scripts and manage all challenges outside of Habitica, what I do for years. But I could create a huge blog post or long video about what went wrong on Habitica the last years and what they should improve.
But thanks to Habitica most challenges of utopify will be publicly available and everybody can participate in them, whenever they want and with any task manager they want. To be honest, challenges were really bad implemented on Habitica and I would rather create a whole website from scratch instead of using Habitica for challenges.
I will still continue to create challenges on Habitica as long as I own 💎 there (or get banned), but people have to provide their Habitica-ID to make a connection to their check in / shared experience on this platform to provide high quality challenges. I will not buy any more subscriptions on Habitica, because without the community and the possibility to chat, all social aspects are gone, no one who motivates you, no one you can give you tips and no experience to get inspirations from. Habitica is now only a todo list with very few and unnecessary features and a piece of paper and a pen would be more efficient.
With this forum the base was created to rebuild the utopify community and to make it better than it ever was.
Please let me know what you think about Habiticas decisions on removing guilds and public chats?
If you find issues in the forum, you can post them here and if you are like me and thought that Habitica wasn't this good at all and a new platform would be better, you can post your ideas here.