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BGEE Forum Raves and Suggestions

BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
edited June 2012 in Site Resources
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..."

Post edited by Bhryaen on
Spjuv3rnMajoritasnulspace

Comments

  • KoreKore Member Posts: 245
    Nice work. There 2 of your suggestions in particular that I want to comment on:

    "3. Prepare the categories for BG2EE as a separate section"

    I wouldn't advise this. Create extra boards as and when they need to be implemented; not before. Dead boards don't benefit anyone.

    "6. Add smileys. It's just fun to add them to posts at times."

    Absolutely. Similies are pretty crucial imo since they allow the community to show expressions which reduces the chance of people becoming accidentally offended and it just aids discussion.

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    @Kore As to #3 being irrelevant... BG2EE development will ostensibly begin somewhere in autumn or winter, so... upcoming. And many of the requests on the reddit forum were nice but clearly for BG2 only, so... I figured it might be more prudent to have a dumping ground for such questions so they're not mis-located in the BG1EE forums. But actually I do see how #3 could be problematic by diverting attention from BG1EE, so... I sort of agree...

    nulspace
  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    Just noticed now that there are multiple forum pages for the Requested Features section... One further suggestion would be to place the page links also at the bottom of the list. After all, once one has scrolled all the way down to the bottom, that's an opportune moment to click to a new page...

    unfortunate_one
  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    A couple further raves... I like how the forum topics are all bold before you look into them, and then after you've delved in there is a number to let you know the discussion proceeded from the last time you checked. It seems like a lot of tracking info to process, but it loads instantly, so... Plus the @ system (was about to make a reference to System for sec there) is great also for tracking where you're being addressed. These things make the forum feel very advanced...

    The "insightful" feature is interesting... Not sure if I like it, but I use it...

    Just to add to suggestion #7 above, since there apparently already is a formatting system in place like I describe in suggestion #1, maybe the format could be mentioned in the FAQ.

  • AntonAnton Member, Moderator, Mobile Tester Posts: 513
    edited June 2012
    Feature request
    Add "Create Poll" option during discussion creation.

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    edited June 2012
    Wow, great, there's an edit gear in the thread post itself now! :-)

    Another suggestion would be to enable the original poster to delete their post- whether a comment or a thread, making it unnecessary to ask the forum moderators to delete them. Double-posts are common on the Bioware threads, and threads abandoned by the OP there are also par for the course.

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    Looks like the badges are all acquiring BG spell icons. :-) I totally don't want to like those badges, given how gimmicky they are, but... they're so little and adorable, hard to kick a kitten...

  • KoreKore Member Posts: 245
    Wow, great, there's an edit gear in the thread post itself now! :-)

    Another suggestion would be to enable the original poster to delete their post- whether a comment or a thread, making it unnecessary to ask the forum moderators to delete them. Double-posts are common on the Bioware threads, and threads abandoned by the OP there are also par for the course.
    I wouldn't be a fan of this. Formerly useful members can get spiteful and delete their posts and guides. Members can always edit out their posts if they don't want the public to see what they've written, but if need be a mod can always edit it back (I assume that Vanilla allows them to see the edit history). After all, once you've written something it does belong to the forum owner.

  • CorianderCoriander Member Posts: 1,667
    Looks like the badges are all acquiring BG spell icons. :-) I totally don't want to like those badges, given how gimmicky they are, but... they're so little and adorable, hard to kick a kitten...
    Any suggestions for interesting badges? I'm not totally sure what metrics we can base them on, but I get bored/irritated by ones that are just based on number of comments or likes or whatever.

  • KoreKore Member Posts: 245
    How about "Busy body" for those that think they're better than Trent and Cam at doing their jobs when really they haven't a clue. I'd probably end up getting this one :)

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    @Coriander Number of quotes? links? hehehe It's hard to say just because badges seem as if they're in place to reward behavior, and there's nothing inherently meritable about, say, number of posts. Forum trolls would wear that badge with distinction. For the most part participation is its own reward, and this particular forum has sooo much that other forums don't, even at this early stage, that I'm not that concerned about badges anyway. If anything with icons I'd mess with the default avatars, but really there are other non-essential things I'd rather see- like profile expansion so I could put some choice BG quotes there. :-)

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    edited June 2012
    I wouldn't be a fan of this. Formerly useful members can get spiteful and delete their posts and guides. Members can always edit out their posts if they don't want the public to see what they've written, but if need be a mod can always edit it back (I assume that Vanilla allows them to see the edit history). After all, once you've written something it does belong to the forum owner.
    This is a fair point, but it still doesn't address the forum clutter that gets caused by oops threads and posts. I've had times on Beamdog where I typed a response to a post and by the time I sent it, a new post had come in that made mine irrelevant. Once the new post was from Trent himself, so my post made no sense any more. I deleted it. No fuss, no muss. And as to "retaliatory" deletions, as you say, the OP can reduce their entire post to gobbledygook too, so preventing them from deleting doesn't help much. I'd rather err on the side of a cleaner, neater forum which allows members to manage themselves fully than one where the forum hosts become tedium-handlers. My opinion...

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    Can't believe I didn't mention the notifications as a rave... Oh, right, I hated it when it kept telling me to accept an answer... Now I like it though. :-)

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    I wouldn't be a fan of this. Formerly useful members can get spiteful and delete their posts and guides. Members can always edit out their posts if they don't want the public to see what they've written, but if need be a mod can always edit it back (I assume that Vanilla allows them to see the edit history). After all, once you've written something it does belong to the forum owner.
    Two things:

    1) If you post content on the forum, you own that content. There's no disclaimer here that says the author of any post relinquishes the rights to that content. If a user doesn't want his post to be visible anymore, he should be able to make that decision. Yes, it would suck if a spiteful member deleted all their old posts. But that's their right.

    2) If the moderators and administrators have the ability to view the edit history, they'll also be able to see deleted threads. Letting users delete their own threads simply allows us to clear our own clutter, making the forums easier to navigate for everybody.

  • KoreKore Member Posts: 245
    edited June 2012
    @Aosaw, that depends on how Vanilla works, something that I'm not too familiar with, and how Overhaul wants to deal with deleted posts. Some forum software gives you the option of soft deleting and hard deleting posts. If the CMs here can give the ability to soft delete then it's fine, but if not then I imagine recoving the deleted posts is a real problem.

    Also the CMs might just want to move "deleted" posts to a different folder so that they can be reviewed more easily. If a user was deleting their own posts they wouldn't be able to do this.

    Deleting an empty post isn't a big deal for moderators. All it requires is for the poster to empty it and then open an abuse report on it stating that they want it deleted. Takes maybe 2 minutes of the mods time to deal with it at a high estimate.

    Edit: Oh and @Bhryaen, I concede that maybe adding further categorisation to the feature requests is a good idea. For now though I think that 3 or 4 sub categories is too many. I would go for 2 sub categories; one for mechanical changes and the other for content changes. I haven't really looked at the numbers, but I assume that would be a fairly even split.

  • MoonsongMoonsong Member Posts: 36
    I really like the BG spell icons used for Badges. The first time I saw one it made me grin ear to ear.

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    Noticed this a day or two ago- the new header for the forums:

    "Welcome to the official Baldur's Gate community."

    Now there's an umbrella title! :-) Could sound pretentious, but the way I read it, sounds like setting scopes wide and making room for expansion and development...

  • kamuizinkamuizin Member Posts: 3,684
    I believe they are powering up the forum yet to hold the amount of ppl that will post here, a lot of features are unavaliable yet, but when they start to allow tools here, plz 1° thing to do is enable BB codes.

  • BhryaenBhryaen Member Posts: 2,874
    Another couple forum enhancements have come to mind to suggest:
    1. Add some sort of marker to each post so that someone can quote the exact post.

    2. Add a "Post edited" notification at the top or bottom of the thread's OP. It would be nice to be able to readily monitor a thread's OP for changes added to it.

  • KoreKore Member Posts: 245
    Another couple forum enhancements have come to mind to suggest:
    1. Add some sort of marker to each post so that someone can quote the exact post.
    Yeah this would be good as well as a way linking directly to a specific post in a thread.

    Bhryaen
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