Author Topic: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!  (Read 8481 times)

Spriggan

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Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« on: November 19, 2006, 11:02:29 AM »
Welcome to the new Official Time-Waster’s Guide Forums!  It’s been quite a while since we started talking about upgrading the forum and we finally got around to it.  But it’s not just the backend that’s been changed but the look of the forum as well which I guess you could say is a “preview” of the new front page look of the site.

So why did it take so long?  Well there were lots of features we wanted to make sure carried over, such as the leveling system, as well as features we wanted to implement and that took some time to code since many of the new features are custom made just for TWG.  There is lots of new stuff we’ve added for everyone, some where things that people have requested (though lots of those features were things innate to SMF) and some stuff we’ve wanted to do.

These new Features are:
   Finished class titles for all classes (ya not really new but hey, we got it done finally)
   A Staff Bio for those that are staff members-If you see a bio section in your profile then you know you’re a staff member.
   Award and trophy system- You may notice this things next to my avatar, I’ll explain them below.
   Fell Point System


So Since I’m sure there are lots of questions I’ll post what I’m sure are to be most of them in a FAQ type question and answer so you can pick out what you want to read.  And feel free to post new questions in this thread only about the new forum.

Why did we transfer?  The old forum was running off of a pearl forum that used text files to save all the information and we wanted to switch to a PHP based forum so it could be easier integrated into TWG as a whole and we needed a Database forum since, as you’ve probably noticed, the old forums have been running really slow for quite a while.

So all my user info transferred? Yep, well…everything but your class.  The importer we used didn’t transfer that info and I didn’t want to hack that just in case something went wrong.  But don’t worry, you can go to your profile and choose whatever class you want, think of it as a one time free respect.

What about all the user attributes and the fighting system?   Sorry, well ok not really, to say it’s gone.  It wasn’t something we wanted to transfer over in it’s current version.

So there’s going to be a new one to replace it?
  Maybe, but don’t get your hopes up.  We’ve got some ideas on what we’d do but it’s a lot of work and not very high on the totem pole.

So what’s up with the staff bio stuff?   Well first off lets talk about what are staff members, which is if you’re an admin, section editor, moderator or staff then you have a bio.  The last classification “staff” there is very general but it’s more or less something we give those that write enough articles or support the site in other ways.  If you have a bio visible in your profile then your bio will appear on the staff page and it’s also used to display a bio at the end of your articles. 

What if I write a bio as a staff member then have that designation removed?   It’s possible to un-become a staff member, but your bio at the time of your “un-staffing” will still be displayed at the end of your articles but it wont show up in the staff page or your profile.

So I have one or two articles submitted could I add a bio even if I’m not a staff member?  Dono, I might be able to swing something for you.  PM me.

What’s the difference between Moderator, Editor and Staff?  Staff have no special privileges outside of the staff bio and being able to see the staff board on the forum.  Editors are over a specific section of the forum that corresponds with a section on the front page.  So if you’re a Video Game Editor you can moderate the VG board and edit VG articles.  Moderators can moderate any forum board and any section on the front page but don’t have any admin rights (so they can’t ban users, edit user info or change any forum setting info).

Can I be an (insert staff group here)?   We haven't finalized Staff grouping yet outside our normal Admins but we should have things done sometime after Turkeyday. 

But it say's I'm a (insert staff group here)!  That's just a bug from the forum transfer, as soon as you post it'll go away.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 11:25:44 AM by Spriggan »
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Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2006, 11:05:43 AM »
AWARDS and Fell Points

What’s up with the Fell points and Awards?   Well we wanted to create a reward system that encourages people to support the site in more ways then just posting in the forum.

What are Fell Points?  Fellfrosh Points (FP) are the currency of TWG, you use them to buy stuff in the store, right now the only things for sale are Awards but we might add other stuff.

How do I get Fell Points?  Well there’s several ways.  The first way is by submitting articles and having those articles published on the site.  You get 3 FP for every article of yours that’s published.  The second way is by leveling, now before you groan about this we’ve thought this through, you get 10 FP for every 10 levels you gain, so basically 1 point per level but to avoid abuse we only award this every 10 levels.  Lastly Admins, and only Admins, can award a single FP for an outstanding post, contribution to the forum or anything else that you do to support the site outside of the previously described methods.  Now these were listed in order of easiest to get to hardest, Admins are not going to be awarding FP out like candy and they can remove FP for those that are annoyances (like asking us for them, quickest way to get sent to –10 FP there is).

Ok, so I get FP but what about Awards and Trophies?  Awards are Icons you either buy with FP in the store or are awarded for various reasons.  Trophies are Awards you’ve decided to display (Max of 3).

What are the Award Types?  There are two categories that awards fall under:
1) Award Methods
1)   Purchasable – Can be bought for FP
2)   Awarded – Awarded for participating in something
3)   Achievement – Awarded for reaching a goal
2) Award Types
1)   Normal – Doesn’t expire, so you can always earn/buy it
2)   Limited Edition – Time frame involved (most common on Awarded)
3)   Unique – Only on for the whole Forum (usually earned from contests)

A single award can have two classifications, one from each type so you could have a LE Achievement or a Purchasable Normal.  Note that no Purchasable will ever be a Unique, though it may be a LE (not that often though).

So how do I get each award Type?
Purchasable- Bought in the store with FP, that’s the only way, most are around 10 FP though that doesn’t mean any other price will show up.

Awarded- You earn these for participating in forum events or activates, these are mostly LE since the events will usually only last for a time.  These are, as the name implies, only awarded by the Admins and how you can get them is displayed in the Award Forum Board (more on this latter).  Examples would be winning NaNoWriMo or helping EUOL out on Warbreaker.

Achievement- These are awarded by completing goals and are hard coded into the site itself (meaning admins don’t/can’t give them out).  Examples of these would be having a certain number of articles ran on the site.  When you gain an achievement you get a PM from Cecile B. Bagsworth (the proprietor of the store) letting you know you got one and why.

Uniques- I’m not going to cover the other two here since they’re fairly straight forward but Uniques require some mentioning.  What we’re doing with these is setting up contests to gain them, such as best holiday name or best review of 2006 and then allowing users to vote on them.  They’re going to be almost always Awarded and something that anyone should be able to have a chance at getting if they participate.

Contests:  Contests are special events that are run by forum moderators and admins to encourage posting on the forum and doing things as a community.  Examples of LE awards are winning (not just participating) in NaNoWriMo, giving feedback on Warbreaker, getting 60%+ of your Oscar Predictions correct and anything else we think of.  Examples of Unique awards are winning best Christmas name, wining best review of 2006 and stuff like that, all Unique contests are ones where people can vote on the final outcome.

Cool, so I have an award idea or a contest idea.  Wana hear about it?   We do, but there’s only one place for it and that’s the Award board that’s inside the suggestion forum and the designated threads for them there.  Any threads anywhere else about this will be locked and possibly deleted.
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Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2006, 11:09:28 AM »
I wrote that a few days ago and wanted to add a few more things to it.

1) We have not added Fell Points for articles currently in the database, until Fell and I have a chance to talk about retroactive Fell Points from articles you won't be seeing them, well let you know.

2) Spoiler tag, ya I'm installing a spoiler tag it's [hide][/hide] in BCC and how it works is you can't see the info until after you post in that topic.  Not exactly what I wanted but it was the only premade one for this version of SMF (all the others are for a beta we won't be upgrading too).

3) Not everything is finished on the forum, we still plan on some stuff, like experience bars for users.  Just didn't get done in time.

4) The store doesn't do anything, that's not done yet either, but will be.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 11:11:15 AM by Spriggan »
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stacer

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2006, 04:55:46 PM »
Looks great, Sprig! Question: will there be a way of telling on the front page if there's a new post in each forum? I'm wondering if it's just because I'm looking at the forum main page for the first time, or if there's no star or bold or something to tell me if there are new posts since the last time I went there. I'd rather not have to click on each forum to figure out if there's something new (I often just glance at the page, and if there's nothing new, go do something else).
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Lightning Eater

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2006, 05:08:14 PM »
Well, the book images next to each of the forums are sometimes bright, and sometimes dark, which, judging from which are illuminated, I'm pretty sure show you which forums have new posts.

Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2006, 08:53:48 PM »
Question: will there be a way of telling on the front page if there's a new post in each forum?

There's two ways of doing this.

1st) As Lighting Eater said, the News Paper Icon next to each board is bright when there's a new post you can see examples of this at the very bottom of the front page before the info center.

2) The Brown background of each forum section (ie General, Games, Local Authors) will be lighter if any of the boards in that section is new.

In addition to this in your user info box (at the top of the screen) is a link to show all post since your last visit but I think you have to have logged in at least once before that works.

Not only that but you can subscribe to threads and you'll be notified when ever someone replies to you or just replies to the thread depending on the settings.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2006, 02:25:59 AM »
Ah...y'know, I like the fighting system and would love to see it come back, but what REALLY bothers me is the lack of the EXP bar. Levels are just meaningless without an EXP bar like we had before.

EDIT: Whoa, when I posted this, it kicked me back into the forum view instead of the thread view! Let's see if it does the same thing when I edit it. (Will assume it does unless I say otherwise.)

2ndEDIT: Okay, it didn't. This is really weird.

3rdEDIT: Whoa, this forum is now fixed-width? I really hate fixed-width forums.  :-\ So much wasted space on my screen.

4thEDIT: I can't find the option to hide my post count in the left column.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 02:33:27 AM by Ookla The Mok »
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Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2006, 02:37:22 AM »


#3 sorry has to be fixed width due to the design, no way to get the top part of the forum to work right on percentage.

#4 that's because there is no option to hide your post count, no would I know why you'd want to.
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Oldie Black Witch

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2006, 02:38:21 AM »
Are we not allowed to have spaces in our login name? 'Cause I tried to log in several times the usual way and it took me a few minutes to figure out I had to ADD an underscore to my original login name to get it to work. I'm just a little bit grumpy about this; it's a personal pet peeve about using underscores for spaces.

Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2006, 02:43:57 AM »
Not sure, I do know the original forum added underscores to all usernames for spaces as a default (your's has one) so it's more this forum doesn't count spaces and _ as the same thing for logging in. 
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2006, 02:45:51 AM »
#3 How about just centering the top part of the forum and letting the rest of it be non-fixed-width? Is having a nice flush right and left border worth wasting so much space and making this forum less user-friendly?

#4 Well, I want to hide my post count. My post count never showed before. The EXP bar was much better.

The text in this text entry box is pretty dang small.

EDIT: Getting kicked out to the forum screen after replying is very, very, very annoying.

EDIT3: Okay, I found the preference to not do that, but shouldn't that be the default?

EDIT2: A lot of people in my private messages with vastly different post counts seem to have the same rank: "Movie Editors"
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 02:55:05 AM by Ookla The Mok »
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2006, 02:55:05 AM »
#3 yes it is.  If you really want it to take less space then use FF's or IE7's zoom to shrink the whole page in half.

#4 eh, true, I'll look at removing post counts when the EXP bar gets added in.

#5 getting kicked out is just how the forum works, don't think there's an option for changing it so it's just something everyone is going to have to live with.

#6 I mentioned this above, it's a bug and will get changed as soon as someone makes a post but they're not actually editors.

Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.


Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2006, 03:01:49 AM »
#5 Just check "Return to topics after posting by default." in your profile settings and it will work as expected.

#3 Um...do you mean grow rather than shrink? I use Safari.

Anyway, design is not an excuse for bad usability. Fixed-width forums are a bad idea. They have always been a bad idea and they will continue to always be a bad idea. No one is going to be driven away from a site because it uses a non-fixed-width forum. But people ARE going to be driven away from a site because it DOES use a fixed-width forum. So therefore there is no good reason to design the forum to be fixed-width.
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!

Spriggan

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2006, 03:09:58 AM »
It's all personal preference Ookla it's not good or bad design since everyone has their own opinions, I personally hate fluid websites and prefer fixed, but if someone is so petty that the fact a website doesn't resized based off their browser size that they get so worked up over such an insignificant thing that they won't want to visit that site then that site doesn't need that person because no matter what that site does it will never satisfy that person because all they care about is complaining and trying to find things to nit-pick about.
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Welcome to TWG Forum 4.0!
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2006, 03:16:12 AM »
I do not appreciate insults.
All Saiyuki fans should check out Dazzle! Emotionally wrenching action-adventure and quirky humor! (At least read chapter 6 and tell me if you're not hooked.) Volume 10 out now!