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Message from a worried fan
Dear Robert Moran,
I am a fan who have followed your content since LoM. We've never really spoken, but I am one of the card/expansion creators within the community, along with suggesting to you during one of your S4 prep streams to make Classes give certain cards to the shop, instead of classes unlocking different sections of the shop.
I am a man in my mid-late twenties who have never had a proper work in my life(not for lack of trying), got stress and anxiety problems, and I am a high functioning autistic (Aspergers Syndrome, if that is still alright to call it). Ever since I found your content YEARS after seeing "Jimmy, The World of Warcraft story", I have found you to be one of my favorite creators, and probably the most inspiring one.
Your style of creating things, the people you get in to work beside you, your opinion of all kind of humors (or just jokes?) being fine to do, and your general project ideas. I've spent entire weeks basically only seeing your content over the past few years, the big three of course being Unforgotten Quest, LoM, and URealms. And while I been feeling less passion for some other parts of your content, I still will find things I grow affection to, like your Harry Potter show.
I tweeted about it last week and you reacted to it, but your creations inspired me to try finish some of my own things and get out into the world. And I mean creations I feel I got more into depth with, I done videos for youtube and 1-2 other sites with either showed very low or stupidly high view count, but they honestly felt a bit cheap. Making my fan-expansion for Urealms and converting it to season 3 is one of my favorite creations, even if just a fan thing. And while my original stuff are in-between either halted or hard to start up, I did manage to upload my own tabletop game on TTS this summer, and hoping to be able to make at least one of my projects able to kickstart or sell before the end of 2020, which might very well be my last chance to try earn my own keep before losing the economical help I get before I lose my own home as an adult.
And as much I wish I could just write you a grateful note as I had wished if I ever got a project of the ground successfully and to a professional extend, this changed with your announcements. Your first one I expected, discounting that it was really that suddenly, along with a reasoning that I am not sure was totally honest due to the second announcement/video. But before going there, I want to make it clear; yes, I was disappointed with my fear being right and URealms ending(for now), especially as some of us had expected Season 4 far earlier in the year and been in a waiting mode. Really after it taking so long, then we only had one Campaign, then Deadrealms, then nothing. But even then I could've accepted it and just enjoyed the rest of your content. While it was not handled the same, this still gave the same vibes from before you stopped with LoM.
And then the second announcement came, the video. First the complains about people not giving HiveQueen enough "love"... Many of us had never seen her before. She seemed like a nice person, but you cannot point at one person and say "she's my replacement", especially in the video where you later tell us to start giving you more money. The money being another big factor to the uproar, the high sums you request. While I heard people say you and your staff aren't worth the money, I disagree and think you are worth it, the problem is that you set that as the minimum requirement. I think that could make sense if you cannot help them get healthcare. But either way, you should've discussed it with your staff. I mean, you're their boss. Then several of them didn't even know that URealms were done with for the foreseeable future. And then you throw a number I think you wanted to show "My staff is worth this much.", but instead by posting those numbers you made people ask if the staff were being greedy.
As for the money and the donations themselves, I respect that you tell people worse off to not risk their security just to pay you, but even then you are being far too manipulative. Money is hard, I get it. I struggled with cash this entire year since the government decided to punish me for being positive towards trying out work. But it is not me, nor other fans' fault you are in a bad economical place. And making URealms a hostage is counteractive to yourself, saying we will get "just alright" shows if we don't pay the set price. For some the question will be "don't pay for some URealms, or pay to not have URealms until years into the future" and you cannot expect people to pay you years on end just to later pay for URealms. For others that are into URealms and aren't caught up, they will think they are paying you to get the campaigns, which honestly is easy to misread with dyslexia or by how you set those donations up. Either way, no one will be happy.
Another problem with the money honestly is that you set it up to look like a kickstarter. And as much I've been taught and gotten inspired by your content, I also have tried to learn from your failures. And you and any kickstarting simply don't mix. Maybe you had help this time thinking the economy through, but how are we to be sure that you getting that amount of cash doesn't end up with something not working as intended, or that we pay your price for a month and end up with nothing that month. Because yes, you have the right to vacations and times off, but we are not obligated nor required to pay you for nothing. Other content creators know this and plan around it.
But I am not writing you this to make you feel guilty about your actions. I do have some suggestions. While I cannot assure all of them to be viable or good, you should at least give it a thought.
1. Get a PR manager or something. Sometimes I feel you need a filter, and I am not the only one. I am not saying you need a script writer, but someone you can ask "is this fine?" and listen to their opinion before deciding to run with it, or making changes to it.
2. Create content to cover your off-months. This could be a patreon goal, assuring people still have something to look forward too while you're away. This of course means you will need to work more during the working months, but you make it into some unique event or show.
3. Ask for more help. I get you don't want to bring in the community for everything, but if you got full-time employees you should ask them to help with things outside of their professions when it's less required that month. It doesn't have to be with the creative stuff, but with busy work.
4. Try sell more merchandise and actual products. Like you discussed making URealms a physical game, hence many changes for S4. But there is so much more you could do, maybe even try reach out to some company to have them create products with your motifs. I know the latter one is less of your style, but as a boss you need to secure the economy for your employees. That said, you are already working with a company for your merch.
5. Just leave URealms Live on hiatus until you feel ready to go back to it, no matter if it is a question of months or years. Yes, it means people who are only fans of it won't give you money anymore, but that is their choice.
6. Get an appointment for professional help. I am not strictly talking therapy, even someone which can help you find ways to calm down when stressed might do you much good. Since as it is now, you really sound like you are not only making it hard for yourself, but in fact hurting those around you too, both with recent events and further back. I truly believe you don't want to cause others harm and when it happened it wasn't the intent. But nonetheless, it did happen, and you need to work on it. And this isn't a question of empathy. As little you think you might've had it before, I think you've only been bad expressing it. Expressing something and having it are different things, coming from someone in a group which not uncommonly are stereotyped as unable to feel any.
But no matter how much I respect your work and had your content to keep me going through some of my darkest days, if you keep going like you are now and don't at least work on this point, you will end up pulling this awful stunt while stressed yet again. Because if this becomes the norm, you were right that you shouldn't have the power you hold.
I am not expecting a reply, that is not important. What I wish is that you think this through, and if anything I written strikes you in any way, talk it out with your team, even just Meganzoor for the more personal parts.
Take care of yourself, and those around you.