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Forthcoming Changes to the RPC


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I was going to post this on the "Where do we go from here?" thread created by Verence but wasn't really sure that it would truly fit there. However, this is largely based on that thread and the whole "moving forward" concept.


I'll likely be moving forward with an RPC overhaul, though somewhat hesitantly. The only reason I'm hesitant is because I don't like the possibility of putting a ton of work into something only to have it not be used (I've already done this with things like the Gallery and whatnot). But we'll give it a go anyway.


The following transformations will take place via two separate updates tentatively scheduled around our 2 year anniversary in February. Should you have further suggestions to make, small or large, please don't hesitate to post here. In fact, I highly encourage people to post ideas here no matter how big or small. I need to know what everyone wants to see before I get knee-deep in the transformation process. And more importantly, I need help (particularly with graphic related matters as well as campaign stuff).


Transformations already underway include:


*Redesign of forum appearance. New background, new banner, and new color scheme. Please note, I no longer have access to awesome graphic designers (ie: the people behind the present banners and background image). So I would appreciate any volunteer help in this particular field. (Basic mock concept complete as of 12/19/11)


*Modifications to the forum layout and forum sections. Suggestions welcome if any ideas for new sections are out there. (Ready to be implemented as of 12/31/11)


*Fusion of the wiki database and forum database. IE: You will only need one username and password for both. Presently, to stop the spamming of bots on the wiki, I have turned off user registration there. Non-registered users please use the reinstated Archives section on the forums until the wiki can be fully reaccessed. (Ready to be implemented)


*Updates to the Gallery for a cleaner look. (Ready to be implemented as of 12/31/11)


*Possible addition of an Eorzean clock to the home page. This would require programmers with slightly more knowledge than myself though. (Testing underway)


*Addition of a new team of moderators.


*Avatars added to the memberlist. (Ready to be implemented as of 12/31/11)


*Possible additions of new features, such as a "like" function and "classifeds" section. (Classifieds ready to be implemented as of 12/31/11)


*Removal of hundreds of old posts. A new topic will eventually be made to help determine which threads should be nuked and lost forever in the annals of time.


*Removal of hundreds of inactive users. A new topic will eventually be made to decide how to determine what "inactive" will mean in this scenario. (Smaller scale phase 1 of this process ready to begin)


*Huge publicity campaign to restore the RPC's visibility to the public eye as we edge closer to 2.0. In addition, a campaign to bring back old Rpers will also begin by displaying changes to the game via elaborate newsletters based around the "renewal" theme that 2.0 is also focused on. The possible release of a role-players tribute video may be included in this campaign, assuming I get help with such an endeavor.


*Adjustments to the user interface to allow access to the user control panel/private message from any page. (About 85% complete as of 12/31/11)


*The creation of new, relevant, and updated stickies throughout the forums. Others are encouraged to take the initiative in this as the time comes.


*Revival of the Tonberry's Lantern. This will be based around more frequent issues but far less stories (for example, 1-2 stories posted every 4-8 weeks).


*A possible rebranding/name change of the RPC depending on feedback and ideas.


:moogle: New *Addition of codes that are compatible with Enjin forums for easy copy/pasting. (Process underway)


:moogle: New *Reformatted and cleaner looking Linkshell section. (95% complete as of 12/31/11)


Feedback is welcome and much appreciated. Though don't go too crazy with suggestions. Some things are difficult to implement from a coding standpoint >.>;; What else would you like to see? Anything on the list you DON'T want to see or want altered slightly?

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I've noticed that every time I copy/paste something from enjin, I have to reformat it for this forum. That in itself is a small problem, but it does make it a pain to simply copy/paste something quickly.


That small issue is echoed in your post, with the lack of coding experience and so on. Is it possible to switch hosts to something a bit more user friendly? In the re-branding effort (if you care to take it that far) it would also serve as a big milestone. Would be a good reason to contact both the non-RP and the past members of the RP community, to notify them of the website change.





As a sidenote, unless there are bandwidth issues I suggest just taking most of the old threads and locking them in one forum, perhaps making it invisible. This is so that if info is requested, it is out there.

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That issue can likely be pretty easily resolved. All I'd have to do is add custom BBCodes to the forum database that match Enjin's. For example, both this forum and Enjin use the same exact coding for something like bolded text: [/ b]. However, they use different codes for something like text size. This forum uses percentile ranges for text sizing whereas Enjin uses a simple 1-6 scale that's far more limited.


I could likely add Enjin's codes so they'd be recognized (save for text sizing most likely) so long as I know which codes are different (quoting, image tags, ect?). A quick glance leads me to believe that not many added codes would really be needed (mainly quotes and text alignment).


Switching hosts would likely do very little good. We currently use Host Gator, one of the top end hosts out there. I'm assuming instead of hosts, you instead mean forum software? If so, phpbb is what we use now. And again, it's one of the top end forum software on the market. It's extremely flexible and can be customized into just about anything. Should there be popular support, we could always switch over to Enjin. However, doing so would cause us to lose everything, including the wiki. In addition, Enjin has other limitations that these forums do not (such as limited usernames that are shared across all boards, less customization flexibility, etc). The only thing Enjin has that this forum under phpbb probably never could have is the ability to keep track of character levels by itself. And I think this forum could technically do even that but I wouldn't have a clue where to start (I think Eorzeapedia has this feature so asking its admins for step-by-step directions could possibly help).

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I agree that one can customize these forums to a larger degree, but it seems we lack the skill to do many of the things you've listed for that reason. The novelty of having top-grade forums/website is nice, but it comes down to how much can be done, how much can we actually use. If it's stopping you or other people who might be willing to help but do not know how - that's a problem. One solution is to move to a simpler forum/website, the other is to get someone who is fluent in website speak, to make the site work and look better.

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I never said that I lack the skill to do any of the things on my list (save the Eorzean clock idea and maybe the creation of a new fancy banner and background image). I only stated that some things are more difficult to implement from a coding standpoint and thus take more time and resources to accomplish. Everything presently listed, I can do. I'm fairly fluent in web speak and I think these forums are testimony to that. I've had a lot of people tell me they look better than any other FFXIV fansite out there >.>.


Like I said though, if enough people want to move to Enjin that's fine. They just have to realize that it would mean giving up literally everything and based on my personal experience with larger Rp hubs, I don't think we'd ever really recover from such a huge reboot after that fact. The membership of a brand new forum would likely remain insanely low and posting activity would almost completely vanish (moreso than it has here now). Hence why no other RP community has ever done it with any success. Aion RPers, EQII Rpers, Starsider RPers, and so many more have remained as they were in their original inception. Restarting 1-2 years after the fact almost never works. This is why FFXI RP coalition attempts failed hard and fast. This is also why major fan sites don't overhaul their look that often.


Also, (and this is just a personal opinion), I find Enjin and other such hosts rather bland looking and unoriginal. Unless you get really into overhauling the basic themes they give you, every site looks just about the same as the last.


On a semi-related note, I keep meaning to ask people: Do you like the guildleve borders surrounding most of the boxes around the forums? Or should they be removed entirely in the update?


EDIT: Update--Classifieds feature installed successfully on test forum! It's still buggy and needs some cleaning up but most of the kinks are worked out. This feature will allow users to buy, sell, trade, or advertise gear, artifacts, services, etc via an IC means!








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So you /can/ make the changes, fair enough. I read it as otherwise, glad that at least that can be taken care of. I would suggest poking those who are good artists and know their way around photoshop personally, might be more effective. To be honest I haven't heard too many good things about the look/functions of these forums, so an overhaul would be welcome and may help erase some of the ugly past.


Enjin is pretty solid and easy to use, while allowing for further customization if you know your stuff. I do agree that if you can implement those changes well, there is no need to move and lose all that info.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Forums will be down for several hours on Sunday, the 8th to begin the first phase of the site update. This date and time is subject to change. A number of changes are slated for this (many of which aren't necessarily listed in the original post above). This update will largely be meant to lay groundwork and prepare for part II. While some changes to the basic appearance will begin this phase, most of the color scheme changes are slated for part II.


Users will need to refresh their browsers for some of the changes to take effect.


I would greatly appreciate it if anyone familiar with graphic design contacts me beforehand in regards to a few image related issues.


EDIT: This may come early on the 7th instead. I'm somewhat ahead of schedule so far. So it could happen either of those two days!

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