So you want to know about our history, hm? Alright, pull up a computer chair and a cup of cyber-coffee and listen.
Original post made by Demonstar; heavy, heavy edits, clarifications, updates, and fixes made by Twi.
Part 1: Rockman EXE: Chaos Network
In the beginning, Nalerenn (the original Admin of RECN) started the site with a bunch of people, including Morrigan, Cestus, and a bunch of members of another forum called Real Life Battle Network. They made the original systems, cobbled together some enemy statistics and chips from the games, patched the original site together, and most importantly-- when they were done they ran an ad on a Mega Man webcomic called Bob and George, drawing the vast majority of our veteran members in as players.
For a while, business went as they had expected; players played, moderators moderated, the systems slowly got stronger and stronger-- in the early days there was a really raw, untapped feeling to the site. The rules were fast-and-loose, but there was real potential behind them, and players were constantly suggesting things-- which the staff would sometimes throw in if they liked it.
After a little more than half a year of this, the First Upheaval began when a spat occurred between Nalerenn and Cestus over something a member had done. They argued for a short while, and lots of things happened, but suffice to say Cestus had been demoted and left the site, feeling betrayed and let down. By now several other administrators and mods had left as well; they'd gotten bored of the site they helped to create, and so there was a gap.
Nal brought up a few key moderators after this happened to refill this gap, invested, at least, in keeping the site running; among these were Insomniac and Rapid, of whom the latter was Nal's friend at the time. Business went back to normal, just with new faces helping to run the show. Nalerenn went semi-active during this period due to life and school; but eventually it made him take a long break, leaving only Insomniac and Rapid to handle things.
RE:CN survived for a short while under the administration until Insomniac, the only Admin-staffer left, became stressed and lacked the time to work on the site anymore. So he left; he didn't want to leave the site's members hanging, however, so he convinced a friend of his to pitch in and bumped him up to Admin level. ...Unfortunately, said friend was Cestus.
Cestus, scorned from his previous arguments with Nalerenn, brought down the ban/deletion hammer on a large number of members and mods, and then promptly left once again. Nalerenn himself wasn't exempt from this treatment, either-- he was banned for a month, hands tied.
During this period, RE:CN had one active mod-- Rapid, logging in on the (defunct) Battle Moderator shell that Cestus had (thankfully) neglected to delete. This is important because RECN-- and now RERN-- run in two halves; the player-visible chips and statistics, and the moderator-only enemy stats. Without the enemy data, normal battles could not be properly run. Using that Battle Moderator account, Rapid and a few key members kept the site alive-- albeit barely-- moderating each other until Nalerenn was able to come back from the ban.
When Nalerenn came back, he promoted a few key members to moderator positions-- among these were Twi, and a few other long-running members. Only one administrator, Rapid, was brought up however; Nalerenn's reason for this was that he felt he couldn't trust anyone else with an Administrator spot, fearing that they would lock him out again, or worse, blow up the site altogether.
After a while, Rapid got caught up in his own life as well, and so he stepped down as an administrator... leaving Nalerenn as the only admin once again. The site's activity began to dwindle during this period, especially in the Mod-Only board; with only one semi-active administrator (Nal) to approve EVERYTHING from new systems to sig attacks to members, the entire site slowed to a crawl.
Eventually, the members cried for another administrator, and Nalerenn relented; rather than ask the members who they would want, however, Nalerenn picked a bit of a peculiar member to promote to admin; this was the guy we know as "Dark_Zero". He was a man that was rather new to the forum, and had gotten to the Moderator position quickly.
For a while at least, this helped to speed things up; while Dark_Zero (hereafter referred to as DZ) wasn't the most well-liked admin ever, he at least got things moving. But then Nalerenn left again, citing his schoolwork as the cause of his absence; in his stead he left DZ as the board's "Owner".
This did not go over too well. DZ's decisions were harsh, sometimes for the better, but mostly for the worse, his grammar was bad as English was his second language, and even though he wasn't a huge troll, he wasn't someone that the majority of the board liked. Whether because of the iron-fisted way he ran things, or because of how his rapid rank-climbing made him look like an out-of-place newbie is hard to say; but for most of the forumgoers at the time he was... more irritant than aid.
Eventually DZ appointed Atrus (Now known as Kazuhiro) to an Admin position as he, too, began to become inactive. Time passed under what was left of DZ's "rule", and at some point Atrus promoted Twi to a new, less-than-admin position that DZ himself had invented; Official. Twi quickly asked for an assistant, and Demonstar was brought up as well.
Eventually, after issues in life, as well as some on the board, DZ became completely inactive; when this happened, the members managed to contact Nalerenn, and the decision was made (With Nal's "Blessing") to demote DZ to member and replace him.
But the question remained; sure, having just one person with the power worked somewhat... but... it wasn't as efficient as it could be, and it invited this whole escapade starting again. So Twi, still a half-admin Official at this point, suggested the idea of a Triumvirate; three administrators that would balance each other out, with one being able to approve most things, but a 2/3 vote needed to pass system changes and other, more site-wide things like that.
And thus, the Admin Triumvirate was born. Consisting of Atrus(Kazuhiro), Demonstar, and Twi, they quickly mopped up in what is now known as the Mod-Cave, promoting a few competent members as Mods to fill the hole, and implementing things that had been sitting forgotten for a long while under DZ's reign.
Eventually, things returned to normal, and the site entered something of a golden age: Membership was up, the systems were less broken, most of the jerky members and admins had disappeared, and for a while, things were peaceful. The first big, site-wide plots were ran during this period, and the first mullings of what would later become the factions began to stir.
Three administrators proved lacking when it came to the size of the membership at the time, however; with somewhere around 140 active members and only three admins, getting things past registration was mostly up to the lazy whims of Twi, who was the big "registration admin" at the time.
Eventually three more members were brought up as Officials, the same level of power that Twi had gained back when DZ was still around-- this brought the total admin count up to a ripe 6, not too many, but just enough to keep things thriving.
Then Nalerenn returned as an occasional member. During that time, he occasionally threatened to use his Root Admin authority to get things his way, whether it be battles, chip drops, etc, etc. The new staff didn't really accept that kind of godmoding-- we had different ideals-- but we were all disturbed by the thought that Nal could destroy all that we shared and built in his absence. But what could we do?
As a Root Admin, the very first member of the forum, Nalerenn had absolute veto power; he could demote, delete, or ban whoever he wanted, whenever he wanted, or even lock us all out of the board-- permanently. And there was no way to depose him... on RECN. So the staff secretly started what would eventually be Rogue Network, at that time just a blank forum made to back up characters and systems.
Nalerenn never really went away; he stuck around, though he seemingly fell in line and stopped with the root admin threats, and so RECN grew for a little while longer, and we put RERN back in the closet, thinking it wouldn't be needed after all. ...However, when RECN was nearly at its peak, Nal finally requested his Admin position back, saying that he had been gone long enough and that it was time to return.
Given that it had been nearly 6 months since his last visit as a staff member, however, we thought it'd be prudent for him to gradually become re-assimilated, so not to disturb the members who joined after he disappeared (who made up a majority of the membership by this point), so we offered him the opportunity to gradually climb back up the ranks... starting with Moderator.
Enraged by the idea that we were trying to take over 'his' forum, and keep him away from what 'he' built, Nalerenn soon started threatening to use his Root Admin privileges to shut down the forum. To put this into perspective, we had revamped nearly every single system on the entire site in the time he'd been gone; most of what existed then had been made by others, with little to none of Nalerenn's original work in place.
Fearing for what we had poured our hearts into, we dug up Rogue Network again. In a quiet, subdued panic, we managed to transfer almost all the systems (chips, rules, etc, etc) over without Nalerenn catching so much as a whiff of what we were doing.
Unfortunately, before we could finish entirely with character profiles, Nal made good on his threats; he shut the forum down. There was a brief period of disbelief, with the forum turning on and off as others with Admin privileges turned the board back on, thinking that it was a practical joke.
It wasn't. Soon, all of us were stripped of our positions, and the board was locked down. The memberbase became immediately divided. We had lost our central hub, our main means of communicating with most members... and, most importantly, our home. Many of us feared we would never get the site back.
After a long discussion and a lot of empty promises and lies, however, Twi managed to get the board up for a day or so for one last haul by striking a deal with Nal; unbeknownst to him, we used this time period to pull the last of what we could get over to RERN, including the members. To do this, we sent out a forum-wide e-mail to every single registered user, explaining the forum outages and linking them to RERN.
Though I don't think anyone was certain of what we were going to end up doing-- whether staying on RECN or moving entirely to RERN-- the message said that RERN would be a temporary place for RECN whenever it went down (namely, when or if Nal threw another tantrum and shut it down), at least until we could get him to turne RECN back on.
Unfortunately, as soon as Nal heard about the back-up, his mind was made up. Despite our attempts at reconciliation, he deleted the entire RECN forum.
Naturally, this riled up a great deal of members, and a lot of cries for blood raged. The staff (preserved almost to the man, except for Nal) decided that we would try to replicate RECN with what we had saved during that span of time. After polling existing members, we decided that starting afresh, with bonuses if you were from RECN, was probably the best way to start. Characters were wiped. A few systems were retuned and overhauled with the opportunity. The board was cleaned up and formatted to look nice.
And finally, RERN was born.
We've had a lot of people come and go since this site was originally "spun off" from RERN, but... despite everything we've stuck together, and, thankfully, nothing has exploded.
...Well, okay, only a few things have exploded, but none of them were the forum. And while the forum can't rightfully say we boast 140 active members anymore, what we have is a dedicated playerbase who can be the friendliest people you've ever met-- when they aren't tearing each others' throats out with some argument over video games or hipsters.
Stick around a while.