This might seem like a lame thread just to slap the BGEE devs on the back unnecessarily. They don't deserve it, do they? No way! But really I'm finding a lot about this forum system that I do
like, so I wanted to make a thread to talk about it and high-five the stuff that does work... and for slapping backs if one wishes... not too hard... particularly if they're having back problems...
To start off:
1. The default font and font size plus the colors on the dark gray and black. Just love it.
2. The simple structure. Post and it shows up right there with the gear thingy to edit. The categories are always to the left.
3. Limiting the artwork. I like art on forum sites, but, say, those huge stylized figures or ME adverts that have appeared on Bioware's forum sidebars are just oppressive. This one keeps it right where it's supposed to be- in the "DISCUSSIONS" realm. Plus now Bioware just seems to use a blank dark gray while this is a nice, dark textured look. The top bar though is great to have, and it seems just about the right size.
4. The menu bar when adding a Discussion topic so that, if you open it in one Category but you intended it for another, you can switch the destination Category- so versatile. Great that it defaults to the Category you're in as well.
5. The inclusion without making it overly conspicuous of lots of voting options within the topics both for threads and the posts in them. Not the most useful thing, but nice to have. Also the flagging option is good for just in case (and hopefully that won't be abused. *sigh*)
6. Random Forum portrait icons. (Or are they?) They're neat little faces- better than Beamdog's or most forums' generic icons. I changed to my own portrait right away, but still. :-P
7. Drafts saving. Wow, never seen this before. So many posts I've lost due to whatever, but the drafts would at least have saved me whatever had been auto-stored. Nice touch.
Also I'd like to open this up to make direct suggestions for future forum improvement... since I'm such an expert. (lol not) The point is not to make complaints about issues but to make suggestions for forum development given something that's presently lacking.
1. Add BBCode (or something like it) so we can add italics, bold, strikethru, maybe even color changes, links, photos (if the site can handle it, but for sure people will be happy to show off their BGEE characters and screenshots)...
2. Rotate the top photo a bit. (Not exactly a priority, but...) It would be nice to show mages, thieves, barbarians, etc., as well. Maybe even NPC portraits in the mix plus the new artwork. Maybe each page load makes a random selection.
3. Prepare the categories for BG2EE as a separate section. It's comin', and the suggestions for it will be too. In fact, there were a lot of reddit requests that don't really belong on BG(1)EE's threads but were still legitimate threads, just for BG2EE instead. It's not like the discussion there has to be addressed now, but it's better to allow for that organization preemptively.
4. Also prepare the categories for BGEE (and BG2EE ultimately) gameplay topics (rather than just dev talk). It's only a matter of months before people will be playing it, and the discussion will change then...
5. Stickies, if they're not already part of the system. This way topics that remain critical- like dev announcements or helpful topics or FAQ type threads- can be kept at the top. Or my threads which are also of ultra-importance. (lol)
6. Add smileys. It's just fun to add them to posts at times.
7. A forum site guide FAQ page. Also down the road, but it would be good so people understand the system that eventually settles in. One topic would be how to post a portrait. The big section would be forum rules, like behaving oneself and not killing Tazok at the bandit camp. (jk)
OK, back to the BGEE in "BGEE Forum..."