I appreciate that you're taking my concern into account but I must object to the idea that the channel is going to solve the problem I'm pinpointing. No auto-join sucks too, though it's not a big deal.
I think that really there is importance in symbolism in a forum having its own physically separate space. We're just not the same community. Is having a separate server really too much to ask? Maybe it is for practical tech reasons--if someone could speak to that, that would be wonderful--but I feel like having a server to call our own actually matters. I just can't get past the fact that the so-called Battle Server would need a channel for the sake of...battling. Shouldn't the Battle Server be for battling? The battling community? I feel like that's just kinda weird. Not saying that the current server shouldn't exist or something but my my the Battle Server is quite the misnomer. Our gathering space is just some minor part of something else in the case of a channel. Something just feels off about that.
On a more practical note (and the one of real magnitude), the staff would still be the same in a channel. How many of the current staff members are even half as qualified to operate an actual battling server as D_A and I are? How many of them have played an actual competitive battle in the past month? (RANDBATS DOES NOT COUNT.) I also suspect that rules and especially their enforcement would be way different (read: more lax [+def, -sdef]) which is pretty awkward. And the culture of the server? I don't think I even need to say what would be different, lol.
I mean, if a channel is the best we can do, fine. I'm not going to turn down what is admittedly an improvement (as if I have the sole authority to). But I think it's a little naive to think that having a separate channel serves to differentiate the way I'm talking about. Unless there is indeed a practical barrier I see no reason not to just separate them.
...And while I haven't talked to D_A or anyone else about it, yes, I'd be willing to do the little moderation required if you wouldn't want to juggle two servers. And I realize that the battle server would run into an old S&M problem--inactivity--quite quickly, but I'm willing to build it up over time...by myself, if I have to. I die inside every time I come on the current server and seeing its role in the old S&M community's complete evisceration. I am willing to do quite a lot to reverse that. Because right now I feel like I wasted years trying to improve the battling community seeing as it does not have somewhere where it can effectively exist. On that note...
Okay, but it's not 2007 anymore: the battling community needs a place for battling and communal bonding. And as much as I loved 2007, PC got infinitely better when it was supplemented by a Shoddy server. So yeah, I'm all for utilizing the forum (as you know haha), but a server still has to exist.