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Old 09-25-2017, 08:19 AM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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Default Site Improvement/Modernization Discussion

Some recent discussion in the Discord and in the Discord/IRC thread has sparked, for me at least, a recognition that there are some issues with the site as a whole.

The site's load times have been consistently slow since the last host change. This is an improvement over the previous hosting (where stuff just went down without warning and wouldn't come back for days because tech support was apparently unreliable) but the fact that it takes so long to refresh or switch between pages makes the site as a whole cumbersome to use.

The front page hasn't been updated in over a year. The gallery hasn't been updated in five years. The efforts to turn the non-forums part of the site into a repository of knowledge about Warcraft have never materialized.

The lack of integration for the chat mediums that some users have gotten into (the IRC is a classic example but the Discord is the more recent and IMHO more relevant one) means there's something of a split between folks who want to interact exclusively via the forums and those interacting in the Discord in real time.

I have some ideas about things I'd want to see on the site (things I'd be willing to contribute myself, natch), but I wanted to start a thread here to get a discussion going about whether these problems are actually problems or if everyone is fine with the state of things.

In other words, if folks are OK with how things are going at SoL, there's no need to change anything. But if we're going to change things, let's figure out what we can do to really get into the present and make this site a destination for fans of the franchise.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:21 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Have daily Discord roundups on the forums and I'm okay with everything
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:28 AM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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Originally Posted by Krainz View Post
Have daily Discord roundups on the forums and I'm okay with everything
I know Jiffy was offering this as a joke, but do you think this would work as a solution? And you don't think there's a need to address the site performance issues?
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:28 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Originally Posted by Krainz View Post
Have daily Discord roundups on the forums and I'm okay with everything
This is a very good idea that nobody's going to want to actually take responsibility for, but the loading times are still pretty bullshit.

We should also update the 'main' page so that it at least reflects the modern state of the site.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:34 AM
ijffdrie ijffdrie is offline

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Have daily Discord roundups on the forums and I'm okay with everything
This is not a terrible idea.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:44 AM
Cantus Cantus is offline

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I've said it before, I'll say it again. If you want big changes, we need folks willing to put the time in who are capable WebDevs. If you've got the resume, we'll consider it. If not, drop your suggestions in here anyway, but be prepared for some disappointments (because there are always limitations on technical/financial feasibility).

As comfortable as I am personally doing frontend work, that's not where we're really hurting, so it's mostly folks who have both the time and skills to do back-end service.

And, as always, there's the following disclaimer. Everything proposed requires Warlock's "Okay" before it's done. He's usually pretty amenable, but just keep it in mind.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:51 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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I know Jiffy was offering this as a joke
Was he?
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:21 AM
Gurzog Gurzog is offline

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0.05 (1/20) seconds to load a thread 3-4 to get after clicking reply to here.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:39 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Eh we have this discussion often but nothing ever seems to happen so I will only drop some cliffnotes off the top of my head:

-Get more people, the forums feels to be dying and we need some new faces to keep things lively.

-Maybe kill the Discord, I feel it saps attention from the actual forum

-Diversify topics. Add gaming, movies, shows, science and other nerdy things as new subforums. Warcraft is on the decline so while it should remain the main thing maybe roll up some of the Warcraft subforums and reduce redundancy.

-Work on eliminating drama, we've lost too many good members already. Do this by talking or forcing people into ending the petty feuds. Also sensible moderation that is light, unbiased and commensurate.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:09 PM
Aneurysm Aneurysm is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
-Get more people, the forums feels to be dying and we need some new faces to keep things lively.
On this particular note, you've admitted yourself to only frequent the General sections of the forum, not really paying attention to the rest. I do the same whenever there's content droughts.

The Warcraft sections still get plenty of activity as soon as something happens in WoW, be it the Gameplay section for patches and updates, or the Lore section for books, short stories, audio dramas, and stuff. Admittedly there's not as much traffic as there used to be, but I think that's a case of these kinds of forum boards being a dying medium in general.

People come and go, yes. But the community as a whole is still here, be it on the forum or on the Discord (the Discord, by the way, has drawn lurkers out of lurking and into brief discussions too, if I'm not mistaken).
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:33 PM
C9H20 C9H20 is offline

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Originally Posted by Aneurysm View Post
On this particular note, you've admitted yourself to only frequent the General sections of the forum, not really paying attention to the rest. I do the same whenever there's content droughts.

The Warcraft sections still get plenty of activity as soon as something happens in WoW, be it the Gameplay section for patches and updates, or the Lore section for books, short stories, audio dramas, and stuff. Admittedly there's not as much traffic as there used to be, but I think that's a case of these kinds of forum boards being a dying medium in general.

People come and go, yes. But the community as a whole is still here, be it on the forum or on the Discord (the Discord, by the way, has drawn lurkers out of lurking and into brief discussions too, if I'm not mistaken).
I would branch out if the new boards were interesting to me. I do check out the HS thread and even some Warcraft thread when they catch my eye. Mainly it is an issue of me no longer caring for Warcraft, so I am not sure what you were trying to say. That there is still need for all the current boards and no Warcraft ones should be merged? Okay whatever, just add the new boards alongside the existing ones.

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Old 09-25-2017, 01:40 PM
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Was he?
Half.



Another thing that came up on the discord based on Handclaw's question of what made using SoL worthwhile and how to convey that to first-time visitors was a 'featured posts' feature.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:20 PM
Saranus Saranus is offline

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The antique website and sluggish loading times are going to keep the vast majority of newcomers away. Fixing the site is, IMO, the number one priority. Doesn't matter how fun or interesting the community is (and it really isn't right now [sorry]), no one wants to use a broken, slow-ass website. This technology is like 20 years old now. I think a big part of the attachment for those here is the years and years worth of discussions being stored on these forums and that's probably one of the main reasons there hasn't been a true exodus to a new site or forum or whatever. Otherwise I might suggest the outright heresy of starting a brand new site and forum from the ground up on a more modern platform/host. Alas,I know nothing of web dev so I am less than useful here. The general inaccessibility of Warlock is a tremendous roadblock to making improvements.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:54 PM
Aneurysm Aneurysm is offline

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Originally Posted by C9H20 View Post
I would branch out if the new boards were interesting to me. I do check out the HS thread and even some Warcraft thread when they catch my eye. Mainly it is an issue of me no longer caring for Warcraft, so I am not sure what you were trying to say.
No, what I'm saying is this percieved notion of the community dying or whatever might just be because you aren't looking at the SoL community as a whole, but the core group frequenting the General sections. Although I may very well be wrong and have misread your comments.

What the forum really needs to become somewhat active again, I think, is stable and consistent server hosting.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:50 PM
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I wish we could expand the fanwork section, and stop the political conversation.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:36 PM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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I wish we could expand the fanwork section, and stop the political conversation.
Political conversation in a general sense has a place here as long as we have a general discussion forum where the topics aren't strictly moderated. As long as that conversation doesn't spill over into topics it's not appropriate for, it's a function of people having real-world opinions and using the forum as a medium to discuss/argue about them.

I agree that building up fanworks could be a good thing to do too.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:41 PM
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Political conversation in a general sense has a place here as long as we have a general discussion forum where the topics aren't strictly moderated. As long as that conversation doesn't spill over into topics it's not appropriate for, it's a function of people having real-world opinions and using the forum as a medium to discuss/argue about them.

I agree that building up fanworks could be a good thing to do too.
Should it be 100% forbidden? No, even I post there sometimes.

BUT when it's getting bad, it should be locked up for a while to prevent further flamewar.

Fanworks should be expanded and further discussed.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:26 AM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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Chiefly, what I envision for Scrolls of Lore is a fansite frontend, more akin to BlizzardWatch and BlizzPro, which would include the following:

1. Blog content, oriented around releases of story-rich content like short stories, cinematics, novels, and other relevant products in the Warcraft space, in addition to other kinds of SoL- and lore-specific content. (Examples might include a "daily headcanon" to spark conversation, highlighting notable forum discussions, and lore Q&A columns.)
2. Integration with social media (i.e. Twitter) and the Discord app to provide avenues for interaction between the SoL community and the wider gaming community.
3. Top-level links to the following sections of the site:
* the forums
* a revamped and revitalized image gallery that would showcase fan works (with appropriate attribution to the artists) in addition to official art
* a dedicated lore section that would serve a function similar to the Ultimate Visual Guide for World of Warcraft, with brief character bios and links to Wowpedia entries
* timelines, specifically in terms of game content releases and announcements, as well as releases of expanded universe materials

Obviously, this would be a lot of work to create and curate, so it would take a team of content creators to manage it all, and probably more resources going into the site's costs than we're currently investing. To address that, I also propose a Patreon that can be used to defray those costs and (hopefully) compensate content creators for their work.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:39 AM
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Exam week coming up, so I can't respond much, but...

Think a little bigger. Scrolls will always be deeply connected to Blizz, but we need to go beyond that. User content tailored to any game universe, building your own fantasy universe (as Mutters and Co are currently doing on the Discord), and just making random things without any universe at all.

Guides on how to make a character, how to avoid rehashing things (if you feel like you're experienced enough to tread new ground), and inspiration for doing so.

Most importantly, doing all of the above in groups or iterations. Some people can have "their" world while still letting people branch off from it (with due recognition given to the initial author/seed it grew from).

Basically, anyone can draw something and put it up on Deviant Art. Anyone can write fan-fiction and throw it on an aggregate site. But not many places encourage folks to go beyond that, and I'd seriously like to see whole worlds developed from someone's simple short story/drawing. Or, not so simple.

Blizz, while an anchor in our past and present, is still a stepping stone to the future of what users can develop (within the Blizz multiverse and beyond). Build enough steps and you can find your way to a new world, one that others can travel to on your path, or strike out into uncharted territory while still keeping it in sight. Or...just get lost in strange places wondering how you got from that first step to the wild blue yonder.

At least, that's how I've always seen things.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:41 AM
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It would be good back then, but now most of the ppl have lost interest of WOW. So it would be good to expand the forum as general fantasy/sci fic lore and fanworks.

I always think Diablo and SC deserve more lore.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:28 PM
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There were in-depth plans to revamp the site a while back, but no one has access to the back-end.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:43 PM
MisterCrow MisterCrow is offline

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There were in-depth plans to revamp the site a while back, but no one has access to the back-end.
No one has access to the back-end? Or no one has enough experience to modify the back-end?
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:19 AM
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No one has access to the back-end? Or no one has enough experience to modify the back-end?
Only Warlock has access to the backend. Bolvar is the only other person currently on staff with experience there, but neither have an abundance of time.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:18 AM
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Only Warlock has access to the backend. Bolvar is the only other person currently on staff with experience there, but neither have an abundance of time.
So it kinda sounds like if we want something to happen, we need to find someone with time to work on the backend (or secure funds so we can pay someone to do it) and ask Warlock if he'll grant access to that person in order to let the work occur.

If Warlock's happy with the state of the site then this whole discussion is moot.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:08 AM
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So it kinda sounds like if we want something to happen, we need to find someone with time to work on the backend (or secure funds so we can pay someone to do it) and ask Warlock if he'll grant access to that person in order to let the work occur.

If Warlock's happy with the state of the site then this whole discussion is moot.
I can guarantee one thing. No one (Warlock, Staff,or Users) is happy with the fact we're out of date.

In terms of funding, I can't drop half a G on a dime, but we're not strapped for cash enough that we can't afford the software. Non-volunteer time, however, is costly. Thus the call for people who both know the ropes and are willing/able to give us the generosity of their time. And, of course, be trustworthy (since they'd be able to access databases that include user info).
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