Hydaelyn Role-Players

Full Version: [15 May 2017] RPC Upgrades and Migration Announcement
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Hello, hello. Happy mega maintenance, everybody.

For a while now, the RPC staff has been preparing for a migration and upgrade of our website and its features, an effort that has only been spurred on by the recent feedback survey. We'll be upgrading to newer software that can better facilitate our needs and give us more possibilities to support the ever-evolving RP community in Final Fantasy XIV.

We'll be upgrading to InvisionPower, the newest version of which will be released mid-2017.

New features will include:
  • Brand new calendar, with the capability to import directly from a Google calendar
  • Multiple calendars, so other servers don't have to fight with Balmung for calendar visibility.
  • Front page portal, allowing for user-submitted content like news articles, short stories, character spotlights, and screenshots on the front page.
  • Custom pages. Users will be able to create customised individual pages for things like character info, Free Companies, or NPCs, with easier functionality than the wiki. (The wiki's not going anywhere!)
  • Group pages. Each group will have access to their own sort of mini-forum.
  • Improved Linkshell and Free Company functionality. It'll be easier to advertise and easier to find!
  • Improved gallery
  • Updated website theme and design, with easier site navigation.
  • Multiple tags per post, so you can tag open/closed, timezone, story/journal, and server on a single thread. Our current system only allows for one tag per thread!
And more quality-of-life improvements!

These are all things that our current software is unable to handle, as it's quite dated. We're itching to give the RPC a much needed upgrade, which will enable us to better support the growing roleplay community on all servers.

--

Upgrading to IPS 4.2 and purchasing all of the features listed above, however, does necessitate an upfront cost.

We are looking to raise a one-time sum of $450 USD to facilitate this upgrade.

İmage

Again, this is a one-time sum; all recurring costs, including license renewal and webhosting are much lower and can be maintained with the continued support of our patrons.

You can help us by either: visiting our Patreon page or Donate via PayPal using this link!

Q&A

When will the migration happen?
--We have no fixed date as of yet, but will let you know well ahead of time.

Will I lose any of my threads or posts?
--Nope, every thread and every post will be kept in the migration.

Will I lose any of my content on the RPC Wiki?
--The RPC wiki and its content will not be affected by this upgrade, save for some cosmetic changes. All wiki data has already been imported in tests.

Will I have to reformat anything?
Custom BBCode and certain visual extensions such as the tabs in Free Company and Linkshell Halls cannot be converted. You will most likely have to make small adjustments to old posts to update formatting once the migration is complete, and we encourage you to report any threads or posts that are behaving oddly after the move.

Will I lose any of the content I have uploaded to the RPC Wiki?
--Your uploaded screenshots and art work will also be kept safe in the migration!

What amount do I have to donate?
--You don't have to donate anything. This is not compulsory and we appreciate every penny that we receive.

I'm already donating to the RPC via Patreon. Where's that money going?
--The Patreon funds are spent towards paying the webhosting costs. Any runoff from Patreon is sent into reserve, where it's used to pay for the next billing cycle.

Is there any other way I can help besides donating?
--The RPC is in need of technical staff. If you're familiar with PHP, PHP templates, IPS, or other relevant expertise, please contact Unnamed Mercenary here on the RPC.

How long will this take?
--As of writing, the RPC staff is waiting on the release of IPS 4.2. While we've been conducting some internal tests and demos on IPS 4.1, many of the upcoming features appear to be well-geared for our forums. We'd like to keep major chages to organization and layout to a minimum. If the new functions do not turn out to work as well as we'd hope, we'll provide updates.

What's going to happen to the old/current site? Will there be a preview available? What about for Patreon users?
--We plan to offer access to the newer site in phases.

First, we'll be making a full backup of RPC as it is now.

From there, the staff will be working on some quick configuration adjustments (forum permissions, user groups, cleaning up some boards/posts/etc).

Once we've got the site working mostly, we'll be opening it up to users in the Patreon group to help us iron out some features and catch any issues we may have missed.

After that, we'll be putting the old RPC into a read-only state and opening up the new forums to all users.

Both sites will continue to run to ensure that any posts and threads that were missed in conversion can be reposted.

A final announcement will then retire the MyBB site and Coppermine Gallery.

Feel free to ask any further questions below!
No questions, but how about a progress bar on that lump-sum so we are motivated to donate? Just sayin', it's effective.

Also, FINALLY. Thank you.
AHHH ALL THIS STUFF IS SO COOL.
I don't know what I'm more excited about. 

Like all of it seems so amaze. Custom pages sounds really awesome, I really like the portal, the calendar is a much needed and loved update, eee! Thank you staff, these are really neat. ♥

(05-17-2017 09:43 PM)Aysun Wrote: [ -> ]No questions, but how about a progress bar on that lump-sum so we are motivated to donate? Just sayin', it's effective.

Also, FINALLY. Thank you.

This is a little tricky because donations are handled through a Patreon, which processes monthly. It happen beginning of the month, which is then used to reimburse whoever's paying the bills. 

A sample monthly bill looks something like this. (This was taken from a past cycle, but costs should have remained about the same, depending on usage spikes and special charges).

AWS: $185.66
  • Data transfer: $19.89
  • EC2: $112.14
  • RDS: $52.39
  • Route53: $1.24

Arrowchat Enterprise license, 1 server: $295.00 (renewal per year is half this)

So what do all these mean? 
  • AWS is Amazon Web Services, which is out hoster.
  • EC2 is a type of server offered by AWS. In this case, it's out webserver. It powers the forum and wiki software. Usually if something goes down, we start troubleshooting here.
  • RDS is our dedicated databas server, which hosts all the information displayed on the forums and wiki. It's optimized for database tasks.
  • Route53 is Amazon's DNS service. It's what ensures we actually get to stay ffxiv-roleplayers.com!

edit: We're still working on the theme, but would people be interested in some screenshots of what some of this looks like? I have a IPS 4.1 testing instance which isn't really public-safe, but if there's a specific feature you're interested in seeing some defaults of, I'd be happy to get some shots of it!
(05-17-2017 09:43 PM)Aysun Wrote: [ -> ]No questions, but how about a progress bar on that lump-sum so we are motivated to donate? Just sayin', it's effective.

Also, FINALLY. Thank you.

I'm afraid people will be more intimidated if I post that bar and it turns out empty ^^;;;

That said, I'd be more than happy to keep a running tally. The staff is quite determined to get these upgrades done. I'll be ponying up a bit for the upgrade and the recurring costs as well; we're just looking for a bit of help to offset that rather monstrous up-front fee.
Good news, everyone!

Thanks to the support of an extremely generous anonymous donor, for every dollar donated up (on either PayPal or Patreon) to $50, our anonymous donor will contribute an equal amount.

The staff is determined to get this upgrade through even without donations, but anything you can spare would be very much appreciated!
More than halfway there!

Thanks to everyone who's donated so far. The license cost is really the only major hurdle we have; everything else is just a matter of time.
SCREENSHOTS! (Don't kill my test servers or I'll have to take them offline. They can't cope with real traffic. Neither can my ISP.)

General forum look and feel:

Some stuff on the calendar, gallery and integration:

AND THERE WERE WIKI UPGRADES PLANNED TOO?!?!:

And there's more! ...my testing files are a bit broken, so not all features are up and working the way they'd act in a production environment. There's also a lot of manual labor to do on a fresh conversion, like getting the new tags and prefixes working. (Which is why I haven't shown them off just yet. The test data's from an old RPC backup without any uploaded images aside from a gallery test import).
Have you guys considered other alternatives like DigitalOcean, for example? Just curious.
(05-22-2017 01:46 AM)Arkghyom Wrote: [ -> ]Have you guys considered other alternatives like DigitalOcean, for example? Just curious.

As we're currently hosted on AWS, it makes little sense to move off that architecture. Especially with the amount of data that would need to be moved off the servers. (The wiki alone is about 53GB. ...and that's just images).

I believe RPC's normally used AWS's reserved instances options, which offer us more than good enough performance for the site at a very affordable cost!
(05-22-2017 01:52 AM)Unnamed Mercenary Wrote: [ -> ]
(05-22-2017 01:46 AM)Arkghyom Wrote: [ -> ]Have you guys considered other alternatives like DigitalOcean, for example? Just curious.

As we're currently hosted on AWS, it makes little sense to move off that architecture. Especially with the amount of data that would need to be moved off the servers. (The wiki alone is about 53GB. ...and that's just images).

I believe RPC's normally used AWS's reserved instances options, which offer us more than good enough performance for the site at a very affordable cost!
Ok then! I was just curious about it. xD
Thanks to everyone who's donated so far!

Right now we're still waiting on the stable version of IPS 4.2 to be released before purchasing the license; it's currently in beta right now and there's no full release date other than "summer 2017".
IPS recently released a preview of Clubs!

There's also a preview of how threads and posts look within clubs as well.
Hello, hello!

We've now broken the $400 mark thanks to everyone's generous donations!

We'd hoped to have been underway before Stormblood hype could settle in, but as it stands we're still waiting on the stable, final release of IPS 4.2 in mid-summer. In the (in)famous words of a certain developer, please look forward to it.
As a small bandaid while we're still working on MyBB software, I've added in Linkshell and Free Company server thread fields for Mateus and Omega! They currently have text links because we don't have pictures for those servers. (We'll either be moving them all to text or making some picture buttons, possibly.)

Both servers should also have thread prefixes for forum sections that cater to per-server posts and threads.
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