People are already using this thread in the same way they were using the other thread that you just moved, as a place to list their feedback summaries and ideas. Not sure if that was what you wanted? I'm certain its because peeps know you are the main active mod right now and thus a potential conduit to the devs. So they will post their stuff where they think its likely to get the desired eyeballs on it, even if that's not exactly what you're after. Or maybe its because they expect you to be editing and distilling all this information into a giant list or something continously? That's a pretty daunting task to take on.
Do you have the power to create/rename forum categories?
If so I would suggest adding "EA" (early access) to each of the forums headings in the Baldur's Gate III section. That way when the game goes live a year from now, or whenever that happens, we can archive all these forums and start over with new sections and discussions relevant to the game after its fully cooked. This will help when people are searching the forums later on, and cut down on necro'd threads from the EA period that probably won't be relevant anymore at that point. Also provides an opportunity to create more focused sections later on based on the harrowing experiences and lessons learned from EA forums. When the game does eventually come out of EA, Larian should hire or deputize many more moderators to stay on top of these incredibly fast moving forums.
Right now its difficult to see much difference between the General section and the Feedback and Suggestions section, and there are already way more topics in each than any one person would be able to move around with redirects before going fully insane.
Are you the only one tasked with handling this right now? If so, I feel for ya. Its hard enough just trying to lock threads with offensive titles or personal attacks, let alone trying to stay on top of more basic organizational stuff like whether a thread is more appropriate in one section over another. A full party of 6 Flaming Fist moderators would be better than Lone Wolf'n it solo hehe.
Not sure but it seemed like you were looking at organizational ideas for a new forums section? If so I think I think you should consider dividing the feedback section into two basic branches, one that deals with the Narrative stuff and one that deals with the Gameplay mechanics stuff.
Some ideas for that kind of forums branching might be like...
Story Feedback and Suggestions EA: *Spoilers Abound
(for discussions about the Plot, Companions, NPCs, Conversations etc)
Good and Evil
Gameplay Feedback and Suggestions EA:
(for discussions about game mechanics and rules *Please note any Spoilers)
Stickied feedback threads:
5e D&D (Rules and Q/A)
Inventory and Equipment
Controls and Movement
Map and Journal
Monsters and Combat
Difficulty and Gameplay Settings
Just riffing, there are probably a bunch of ways to organize the discussion topics. But the basic idea is that if we provide like a dozen subject threads stickied in each relevant section, then we can cut down on the number of duplicate threads or catch-all threads that are currently bogging down the forums and reducing its usability.
This way we can also have better and more informative thread titles at the top of each section. At least better titles than like "How Larian fucked up X" or "An Open Letter about X" or "My Feedback on Everything X" which is what we get now. Our Mods could draft or change those sticky titles to make them as clear as possible and help guide the discussions so that they are more constructive for Larian's devs or new users. Gives your forums members some direction, like "post here" for such and such, encouraging people to add to an existing discussion when possible rather than starting a new one. Searching forums is notoriously tough, so basically we'd be manually providing keynote subjects in the form of stickies.
For each sticky, after the initial post announcing which discussion the sticky is meant to cover, a Mod can place a post directly beneath to allow for periodic updates or to provide relevant links and stuff like that via edit later on. Hopefully have a Dev or Dev Liaison chime in from time to time, to keep the ball rolling, or at least prevent it from going flat or catching on fire. Forums are for discussion, so trying to transform them into archives is pretty hard, but stickies are basically the best we got in this kind of environment to keep things on course.
I really like the idea of a Guides section once there are guides to show off. I'm not sure its necessary now. I think unless it can be populated with enough threads to get onto page 2, it should be invisible for now and used as a clearing house later. The big feedback compendium thread was pulling weight before, since it gave people a place to post their big encyclopedia length feedback overviews and cut down on new topic creation in the feedback section. It won't serve the same role in the guides section. Guides section should be topical and specifically for guides if that's what it's called. The section descriptions right now are light hearted and that's fine, but I think they are way too expansive and would benefit from more focused descriptions. If this new section is meant as a clearing house for lengthy compendium threads, or to highlight or curate the more intractable debates going on that's cool, but then let's post a couple dozen in there to give the forum more purpose. Move the raging debate thread there or the party size thread and instead of calling it the Guides and Compilations forum call it the "Great Debates" forum.
Stickies within an existing forum are a better solution than creating a new forum section unless it has a clear purpose and enough content to be worthwhile. Most forums I lurk have at least half a dozen stickies per section.
As for the other forums sections...
General section is kinda rough, because anything with the word "general" in it sort of has to service everything. Some ideas there might be like a BGIII "Introductions" sticky so people have a dedicated spot for that. Or maybe a couple stickies meant to cover a broad range like "What I love of BGIII" or "Gripes" or "Noober" just to try and get some clearing houses going. Maybe a sticky specifically for nostalgia related to BG1/2 or one about roleplaying or D&D history or whatever. I really don't know what to do with the section, since its a catch-all.
Help Tips and Tricks: I guess is a Help Q/A forum? Just based on the content there I think a Help request feels pretty different from a Tips and Tricks exposé. The latter might fit better in a Guides section.
Technical and Gameplay Problems seems to be working largely as intended. I think there should be a direct link posted in there to Larians feedback portal (the one that allows users to attach gamesaves and screenshots.) Forums aren't really the best place for bug squashing, so basically a sticky that directs people to the official bug reporting portal, which asks them to list stuff like system specs and such. Right now there is a sticky called "List of issues big and small." The lead post is well curated but the title isn't particularly descriptive. Perhaps stickies that are more topical like DirectX.11/Vulkan issues, or a place to list Audio glitches vs another for Video glitches/Clipping. Conversation bugs. Maybe a sticky specifically for Exploits, which are a little different than like stuff that causes the game to crash or go haywire in other ways? Not sure exactly what the best way to organize that section might be, but might be cool to have a way to flag something as "Reported to Devs" or "Resolved."
Probably each forum section should have another Moderator or two to help lighten the load. I'm not sure they were really ready for the influx of Android's Dungeon pedantics that were bound to occur when taking over D&Ds lead franchise. But now that they have, some more zots into their community management apparatus would probably be a good idea. The steam forums are already hopeless, but at least for their in-house spot here I think it would help. People should really be paid for doing this kind of work, because it definitely is work. Dealing with trolls and chauvinists or combing through discussions to try and clamp down on hate speech or whatever is fucking taxing. Its the developers responsibility to make sure there are enough moderators here to maintain a welcoming environment for their players and to set a civil tone for the discourse. Its also unfair to put just one or two individuals in the position of having to arbitrate and police everything, since they can become lightning rods and subject to harassment or just general burnout without some backup.
I'm sure you could deputize a least a few more helpers who would do it just because they enjoy helping out and want to participate in some way. We need enough mods to account for time zones too, so there aren't gaps in the day where the forums go unmoderated.
Just give them a "Flaming Fist" forums badge or a signature that says "I am the Law!" or something like that, you'd probably find a dozen recruits pretty quickly to help moderate.
I think they should unlock @s, polls, upvoting/downvoting on posts and things of that sort if its possible, just to make these forums more user friendly and simpler to navigate.
Anyhow, thanks for your hard work so far! I know its not easy
Last edited by Black_Elk; 19/10/20 12:50 PM.