A couple of years ago we attempted to upgrade the forums, realizing our current version was badly outdated and in need of modernization. Since we already knew we needed to move the forums to the same domain as the game to further link the two, we decided to once again take on the task of updating our forum software. I'm happy to report everything went smoothly and we were able to preserve all the years of posts, all player accounts, and any associated avatars and images. Nothing was corrupted or lost during the move. We gained a number of new and improved features as a result of this move.
- The forums have been modernized for better ease of use from mobile devices. This is an area where we were sorely lacking. Both the desktop and mobile versions have an updated look with the option to collapse categories as needed.
- We were able to update our captcha security options so that we can resume accepting new accounts. You may recall we had temporarily suspended new accounts due to the volume of spam bots attempting to gain access to our forums. The new registration process has the simple check box to confirm you are in fact a human of some sort. With this in place, new forum account registration has been reopened!
- A password strength indicator was added to registration to help improve the security of player accounts.
- We expanded the BBCode options available when posting. This will likely require some additional tinkering to determine which options are useful and which add nothing. Overall, a great addition to give players more ways to express themselves.
- For the desktop version, a new preview post option has been added when hovering over a topic.
- We added options to share posts directly to social media, including facebook, twitter, and reddit. This is a feature we had in the past and had missed, especially for the ease of sharing out new posts to our social platforms. Those extra steps were so discouraging!
- A bar has been added to your private messages to indicate how much space remains before your message box is full. The numeric representation still remains for our screen reader friends.
- Perhaps the biggest update is the addition of a feature called Linked Accounts. Many of us, staff included, run multiple accounts to cover our characters and it's terribly inconvenient to have to log out and log back in to switch between them. Now you can link your accounts and easily switch between them from a simple menu beneath your currently logged in account. Once linked, you no longer need to enter your password when switching accounts. This is inline with our vision to use the same account for forums as you do for the game and allow the player to choose which character they want to post as. While not quite to that level yet, it's a giant step forward and should be a big hit with anyone who runs multiple characters.