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Input onto new forum structure

23 emeralds83 replies14,380 views
created 10/23/2017 4:55 pm by Ralex
last reply 04/23/2019 11:11 am
Greeting PMC forums users!

As time has progressed, we are aware that the current structure of our forum is both lacking and ineffective in both usability and clarity. We have sat down long and hard at looking at how to restructure the forums in order to make the navigation and classification of the threads easier to find, and to bring the content you want to see first.

As such, we are looking for your own inputs into the structure.

A few ground rules about this though, so you do not get carried away:

A) This will likely be a full forum restructure, so do not expect anything to stay outright. If there's no value that we can see, expect it to disappear.

B) We do not need a full structure from users. If you only want to offer a suggestion for a part, feel free!

C) This would only be a structure change. Actual functionality of the forum is not changing. We will not change how threads look, but will change how they are grouped.

D) This change will result in a rules change in order to address the new structure. Just because the rules say you can or can't do it now does not mean it will not change. You can suggest rule changes if they are fitting with the new structure.

So give us your ideas and thoughts about the forum structure! What works, what doesn't, what would you change if you could?
Posted by avatar
Ralex
Site Moderator
Level 9 : Apprentice Network
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83 replies

11/13/2017 11:05 pm
Level 16 : Journeyman Ninja
1blackhawk
We should change how you bump your forum thread. Maybe you could make it so anyone except yourself can bump your thread.
11/14/2017 11:38 am
Level 53 : Grandmaster Mlem Mlem Bat
Karrthus
that would turn into crazy spam
11/14/2017 11:51 am
Level 16 : Journeyman Ninja
1blackhawk
How. Everyone bumps their own thread, so if we modified that so only other people can bump your thread, that would take away needless, pointless, idiotic threads. I've seen a thread with more than 300 replies, and more than 200 were from the person who made it. And as a result, that thread was in the PMC forum activity for more than 3 weeks straight.
11/14/2017 1:50 pm
Level 53 : Grandmaster Mlem Mlem Bat
Karrthus
the idea of the new forums is bumping isnt needed, if the thread stays active it wont vanish, threads left untouched for a month with no activity will become inactive, meaning they no longer appear in the "active" tab, people bumping threads wont do anything, the thread will already be in the "active" tab for at least a month and can be acted on accordingly, bumping doesnt need to exist
11/07/2017 6:49 pm
Level 20 : Expert Ranger
_DeathlyLight
"Wanna join my server?" has to go.
11/08/2017 9:19 am
Level 53 : Grandmaster Mlem Mlem Bat
Karrthus
when we tweak the rules i think we should have a look at formats and/or guidelines for how people post their server threads
11/07/2017 7:10 pm
Level 42 : Master Network
Nightshade73
Wanna join MY server? ;))))
11/07/2017 12:10 pm
Level 36 : Artisan Fish
CHorse
Make it so I can find MY posts again. I don't like having to click on forums then realizing I have to go back to my profile agains to look at the posts I've been in.
11/07/2017 6:14 pm
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
Coming soon, yes.
11/07/2017 1:24 pm
Level 31 : Artisan Pokemon
JediJerboa
I know right? I said the same thing!
11/07/2017 2:50 pm
Level 36 : Artisan Fish
CHorse
Duz dat mean we're 'great minds'?
11/12/2017 11:20 am
Level 31 : Artisan Pokemon
JediJerboa
Heck yeah! We think alike, don’t we?
11/07/2017 2:55 pm
Level 7 : Apprentice Network
granmasboy99
As said by many others, I wholeheartedly agree in the sense that server posts need to be completely removed from the equation in the forums. I think PMC Forums still have a use these days, but for those that are posting, their posts won't get seen at all because of the constant spam of servers that 9/10 people are 100% uninterested in joining. Keep the servers under the server page, not in the forums that were designed for a complete different use.
11/07/2017 9:31 am
Level 31 : Artisan Pokemon
JediJerboa
I would like my search function back. I don't like spending 20 minutes sorting through my 900 posts to find what I'm looking for. It's making transferring info from my sci-fi thread a real pain.
11/07/2017 6:17 pm
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
A more powerful search is on the list, but it's gonna be a while. Searching is a pain to implement. I have a rudamentary system working, but I didn't want to put too much energy into a MySQL searching engine if we're going to push it all to solr in the future, which will allow for advanced features like "search for my posts between January and June with "sci fi" in the title".
11/08/2017 12:03 am
Level 31 : Artisan Pokemon
JediJerboa
Thank you for the update. It's definitely going to make my life easier.
11/06/2017 11:13 pm
Level 23 : Expert Scribe
Jetra
My honest opinion is to just straight up remove these forums since 1) nobody uses them and 2) when they are it's nothing but server ads.

Waited for two and a half years to get a new forums and it's worse than it was before. You'd be better off just focusing all the resources just for the uploads of maps and such (probably should also remove Blogs while you're at it).

Game's dead and if anyone new or old came they'd most likely go to MCF.
11/07/2017 11:45 am
Level 25 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
1) the forums are frequently used, you apparently have not paid attention.
2) your vision is skewed by the fact that the forum throws every thread created onto the front page, and the bulk happens to be servers. It does not mean other threads aren't there, simply that you have to search for them.
3) Where's my salt emoji?
11/07/2017 12:56 pm
Level 23 : Expert Scribe
Jetra
1) 2 non-server related posts a day on a site of two million does not an active forum make
2) A cursory glance of any section will net you at least 1/3rd server-related topics
3) Try Twitch.
11/07/2017 1:13 pm
Level 25 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
Irrelevant. There are posts and activities being held outside of the server forum, and there are very few sites dedicated that legitimately compete with PMC in terms of overall activity, as well as forum activity.

The server forum being particularly active does not make the forums as a whole dead (and by the way, doesn't that mean that since a section is particularly active, it would be asinine to remove it?). There are still uses to the forum, and if your suggestion to remove it is serious, then there is little good reason to follow it through.

Especially when your ending statement is "game's dead" which is a bald-faced lie, with the second part being unsubstantiated.
11/07/2017 6:15 pm
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
Also don't forget he could unfollow the section.
11/07/2017 3:16 am
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
With almost 8 years of content, it's a bit of a stiff decision to "straight up remove". Not much is gained by removing something that people do use. Admittedly, they aren't used as much as I want them to be, but they are still being used quite heavily, and as such there is still a reason for keeping this alive.

Server advertisements are definitely a problem, and I agree whole-heartedly that we need to figure out a way to keep them from being the only thing people see. The fact that so many new servers pop up there is kind of nice, in my opinion, but it's not fun to see only servers on your feed when you have no interest in joining them. For that reason, you can unfollow that category, and you'll never have to see them again; I didn't understand why this argument came up since I had unfollowed it from the beginning of the new forums, but I definitely see it now. We're going to see what we can do about that.

Same deal with removing blogs. There's a ton of good content there, and contests for blogs do quite well. No good reason for doing so.

Game's not dead; Minecraft is an enigma in that it's had so many peaks over the years. I don't think it'll be dead any time soon. If it had died, I wouldn't have a job any more.
11/27/2017 9:54 pm
Level 42 : Master Professor
Acier
doesnt the fact that it dying puts you out of a job make you a little biased
11/08/2017 7:06 am
Level 60 : High Grandmaster Princess
Havingfun_ISKEY
I agree with most of this, but, what's your definition of "quite well"? The past two blog contests or so got less than 100 entries. Even for a non-skin contest, and considering it's 2017, it's still kind of sad, to be honest.
11/07/2017 10:07 am
Level 23 : Expert Geek
xXGothicXx
I agree.
11/07/2017 8:29 am
Level 23 : Expert Scribe
Jetra
Server advertisements are definitely a problem, and I agree whole-heartedly that we need to figure out a way to keep them from being the only thing people see.

Setting Table of Contents as the front would be a good start instead of Trending.

Game's not dead; Minecraft is an enigma in that it's had so many peaks over the years. I don't think it'll be dead any time soon. If it had died, I wouldn't have a job any more.

I'm not talking about dead dead because the Game has a lot of content, but in the same way that World of Warcraft is not quite as alive as it was back during Burning Crusades. The community is not as it once was and the game is not as it used to be albeit that 1.12 did do a lot of good for the game, other titles have come to take its place.
11/07/2017 6:04 pm
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
The community has shifted, but it's got more and more players than it did before. The fact that so many servers are popping up is quite evident of this, + our visitor stats being fairly consistent within the past few years. It may have passed its initial major super duper peak, but it's certainly not in the valley of death where we have only a handful of maintainers left.

A ToC-Feed hybrid is something we're going to investigate. For a quick-fix, allowing persistent front page (either ToC or feed) and setting ToC as the default will probably help, but it's not a fix-all because they'll still see them if they go to Minecraft as that's where the majority of them are.
11/07/2017 6:38 pm
Level 23 : Expert Scribe
Jetra
You're the one with the stats, I generally go by what I see personally as well as live statistics sites as well as generally scope around gaming and social sites.

Funny enough, I was going to suggest a mix of stuff, but maybe a soft / hard cap on a particular section might do one better.
11/07/2017 9:14 am
Level 31 : Artisan Pokemon
JediJerboa
The reason we can't really delete this stuff is because not all of it is game-related. Look at my sci-fi thread for instance. Can you even fathom how angry I would be if over a year's worth of development was just straight-up deleted? I feel many others would feel the same if their most dedicated threads disappeared.
11/07/2017 12:21 am
Level 23 : Expert Geek
xXGothicXx
As much has all the server adds bug me, I must disagree, I think the forums are a great way for the players to talk, since no one is ever on chat and it's always down. I feel server adds however should be put into a different area, not the forum, because A, they are extremely annoying, and B, they flood the forums. I also do agree though, that yes, they should focus on maps and better ways for the more popular things, and to be honest, get rid of blogs, they are never used.
11/07/2017 1:30 am
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
Chat's been down like three times in the past few months, and they've all been fairly recent & caught quickly.
11/07/2017 10:06 am
Level 23 : Expert Geek
xXGothicXx
well for me its always down, it never works, is more of what i meant.
11/07/2017 6:02 pm
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
What does it say when you try it? Are you using a modern browser (Chrome/Firefox/Edge/Safari)?
11/07/2017 12:03 am
Level 46 : Master Button Pusher
LeeTheENTP
Across all platforms, Minecraft has sold 122 million copies, 16 million of which were sold this year. As of February, Minecraft has averaged about 55 million monthly players - that means 45% of purchases are being used on a monthly basis. Those figures should be expected to grow as the killer cross-play feature expands to more platforms.

The game's far from dead.
10/29/2017 4:07 pm
Level 38 : Artisan Architect
LightlySaltedBuilder
Also, what if there was a karma-like system where you lose xp for reported and deleted replies, so that it's not possible to spam posts for xp, because they'll lose xp instead of gaining.
11/07/2017 11:43 am
Level 53 : Grandmaster Mlem Mlem Bat
Karrthus
you do loose exp from having your thread/post if you spam threads for exp karrthus will have ya
10/29/2017 5:44 pm
Level 13 : Journeyman Engineer
Kequo
I somewhat agree.

I'd like to see a module on profiles that show how many approved reports a username has made. That way someone can show off how much they're helping the community.
11/27/2017 10:43 pm
Level 42 : Master Professor
Acier
i for one think this is an excellent idea :P karr
11/07/2017 11:45 am
Level 53 : Grandmaster Mlem Mlem Bat
Karrthus
if the count started from now there would be like three people with these numbers on their profile, people do not activity report things which makes it harder for us as staff to find everything
11/27/2017 9:56 pm
Level 42 : Master Professor
Acier
well maybe those 3 people deserve to be mentioned ;)
10/26/2017 9:45 pm
Level 38 : Artisan Architect
LightlySaltedBuilder
In my opinion the should enlarge the size of replies, because currently they feel more like comments than replies, which is the main thing I don't like.

Also it would be nice to be able to see a short excerpt from the original post in the sidebar, like you used to be able to, or if not by hovering over it should be visible.
11/07/2017 3:18 am
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
I'll think about the first part. The only reason they are the size they are is for consistency with the site & submissions. We wanted them to feel like they were part of the same website (and potentially re-use this code for the submission comments in the future).

I like the idea about the excerpt; I don't remember that being there in phpBB.
10/27/2017 9:33 am
Level 30 : Artisan Network
SwanCraftMC
Replies have been bugging me and I didn't know why. Now I know why. xD They do indeed feel like comments. It doesn't really have that discussion feel.
10/27/2017 6:09 pm
Level 25 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
Amen to that. One of my core complaints with the system.
11/07/2017 3:17 am
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
What are your other core complaints?
11/07/2017 1:04 pm
Level 25 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
I'll start with the current one, and say that while it's commendable to go for consistency in design, forums are fundamentally different from comments. Comments are simply not on the "same level" as forum posts. I consider the OP of a thread to hold similar, if not the same validity as subsequent posts. Under the current system, subsequent posts seem almost immaterial compared to the OP in comparison. It simply doesn't feel like a forum. That's really the largest one, but a few things bug me about the structure as well.

> The big subscribe button besides a username. It would be lovely if that subscribe button actually subscribed you to a thread, but as it stands, there's not really a point to having a big button to subscribe right in the spot that it's at. Again, it's the distinction between forums and everything else. It's good to have the design reflect the rest of the site. I find the philosophy to be overdone when you're literally making a thread's OP just another content submission with the same UI, such as that subscribe button. Forums differ, and a subscribe button on the forum typically has a different point than just "subscribe to user".

> Two other points were covered already, and so are somewhat repetitive. Restructured forum intros for better navigation and better clarification of rules/what each section is for, as suggested by Karrthus, and a table of contents page to avoid the blob that is every thread thrown into a pit. I can see why that's a potentially valid design choice; reddit has a similar appearance and Steam game forums/group forums don't believe in tables of contents, period. That said, aside from my personal distaste of any structure that has the landing page as a blob of threads, in this case it simply doesn't work due to the thread spam. At the very least, were the table of contents to be permanently disposed of, a formula would have to be created to make each section have better representation based on forum type as well as activity (which would result in the serves forum having far less representation as it does now). That wouldn't be the simplest thing to add; a table of contents, far simpler.

> This is more relevant to something that would go into the tickets forum, but while I'm going the full distance, I'd like to note that the post has weird behavior in regards to formatting once you edit it. If that hasn't been reported, I could do more thorough testing and put a ticket together for that.
11/07/2017 1:07 pm
Level 25 : Expert Blockhead
Nitwick
As a very trivial aside, I wouldn't mind seeing a more clear rule, if one exists, for posts aimed at subscribers to be made from wall posts. Forum posts dedicated only to subscribers of one person are unnecessarily public if the content excludes anyone that isn't a subscriber, especially if it includes content with a stipulation that I recently saw that I'll summarize: "go away if you didn't subscribe to me before I made this post. <post asking specific question for what to make from subscribers>"
10/27/2017 2:26 am
Level 37 : Artisan Pixel Painter
Cib
Totally
10/26/2017 4:05 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Pixel Painter
Cib
The forums need icons like the site menu for sections such as Table of Contents. This would make it easier for members particularly new members to find what they're looking for.

On a separate note, I personally would like to see the "Your Posts" section added back in from before. For people who don't know this section only contained posts you've replied to or created.

I already know there's a section where you can edit what appears in your feed but it needs to be simplified and made obvious.

I also think the following sub-forums should be added.

- Build Teams
- Hiring Staff (Servers)
10/26/2017 4:16 pm
Level 37 : Artisan Pixel Painter
Cib
If we want to make the forums simple and clean, I suggest that the Table of Contents is to be added back as the default front page of the forums. The sub-menu on the right hand side of the page is just
annoying.

I also think that a Personal Feed and Your Posts section tabs should be added in place of the Trending, New , Active and Best tabs at the top of the forum front page.
11/07/2017 6:21 pm
Level 83 : Elite Scapegoat
Paril
Sort stuff is the top blue tabs, just like everywhere else on the site. Section is in the white dropdown, which personal feed is there; your posts isn't yet, though.

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