I think this section should be re-named something like...
"Early Access: Archive and Mega-threads"
This would more accurately describe what's here. It might be worth revisiting some of the stickies in other sections that have been up since EA as well, or moving some of the EA feedback compendium threads here where they'd be more visible/useful when thinking about conducting future EAs. There are no "Guides" anywhere in this section. I know the category was set up in the hopes there might be eventually, but I think those are more likely to be posted in tips and tricks, and for very specific things. This place desperately needs new forums with modern functionality. The simplest thing we could do to eliminate one word replies like "+1" which tend to bury threads quickly onto the second or third page, would be to enable upvoting. Just upvoting, not downvoting, since downvotes encourage pettiness and beef, and aren't really necessary for a site like this on a smaller scale. Upvotes on the other hand encourage a welcoming atmosphere and give people a sense of being heard.
I also think there could be links to Larian's main feedback portal as well as a link to the BG3 Discord, prominently displayed somewhere in a sticky for Feedback and quick Q&A. The modding section could have a link to Nexus, stuff like that. There's a showcaae stickie there currently, but it's empty. Perhaps a link to the top 30 popular downloaded list at Nexus would be coo there?
The new sections for Story, Builds, Multiplayer and Mods are good. There should probably be a section specifically for PS5 and consoles, or by playform. There is some danger in creating too many discussion sections though, as people will always want to post where they think it's mostly likely to be seen. So posting in Feedback or General for stuff that might fit better in other sections will be common regardless. Creates a lot of busy work for moderators trying to move threads to the right spot probably. I think volunteer moderators would be much easier to recruit if the boards were updated.
Anyhow, keep up the good work and fighting the good fight! I'm sure it's tough, but we appreciate it!
ps. Some further thoughts on the structure of these forums...
For overall metrics you can get an alright anecdotal sense of what's drawing eyes by looking at the viewership of a section. If you look down the main forums tree, you'll see that most of the current viewership here is on BG3. Other than the DOS:II categories which are still seeing traffic, it's mostly BG3, and this is to be expected since it's the newest game.
Right now for example we have 300+ viewers in the Feedback section 200+ in General, the rest of the BG3 sections have somewhere between 30-100 viewers. All told there are probably a thousand people viewing the BG3 forums here at any given point in time, except during timezone gaps. This section "Mega-threads and Guides" is the least viewed, since it's the least active. News section gets many views, but functionally could probably be handled as a sticky, with previous News announcements archived. The main news people would be interested in I imagine would be stuff relating to the most recent game version, current patch and hotfix. Old news, especially going back to the start of EA should just get locked and archived. Let people dig around with the microfiche if they want to check out reactions from 2 years ago or the EA at various points. This would leave more room for whatever is current.
Keep the community updates and panels from hell, but I mean all the hotfix threads mostly. Here again the Discord and Larian's twitter could take some pressure off the news section. I'm sure the BG3 subreddit does some heavy lifting there too. Unfortunately Valve has allowed their steam boards to become rather unpleasant. It's not just BG3, pretty much any game over there with a large audience is seeing the same. Also those boards move so quickly that they become pretty difficult and impractical to use. Probably Larian wouldn't have much control there anyway, even if they could staff moderators at steam, which I'm not sure they could. But this spot is of a more manageable scale, and also probably a pretty good in-house development resource if they could figure out how to harness it a bit more. The home boards could be made to feel different than some of those other spots in various small ways.
I think it would be easier to build up a new castle for some of this stuff, rather than merges and redirects on top of the old. You know, a new spot and modern boards, with design elements to help support it and make it feel unique to BG3. Perhaps a fun avatar generator that uses the Char Creator to go along with the themed emojis. Speaking of emojis, I think we should disable animated emojis for new threads, even for the current boards. Only moderators should be able to activate those sorts of attention grabbers and they should be reserved for stickies or news or "read first" type threads, say for spoilers etiquette or welcome wagon stuff. Hopefully they will consider investing in updated forums for the new era. Although it's a somewhat more oldschool way to connect it still serves an important function and it's a lot easier to use as a reference/archive. Another section which would be useful is probably is something like "Cry me a River" or "the Gutter" for sour grapes and vent threads which are primarily critical or purely provocative flame baiting. Threads which are cathartic and constructive are different, but without dragging down the overall morale. Maybe a sticky called "Fuck All" for that? I don't know, but the idea would be to sort of separate that stuff out, not censoring it entirely, just giving it a place to go. Locked threads, ban hammer stuff, and then sweep it all into one spot to keep the others welcoming. Another idea might be a place for off-topic discussion on D&D or other games/genres, as currently these would just hang around in the General section. I think ideally we'd have maybe 3 or 4 very active forums, and then a couple which are almost totally inactive and largely archival.
Not sure if it's helpful of not, but the majority of my 504 gateway timeouts occur when directing from the main page at Larian.com. Mainly between the hours of midnight and 4am Pacific Standard Time. This I think is when the hot girls of dubai showed up too? and maybe other spam bots are targeting gaps in moderation. I'm an insomniac so I'm usually awake at odd hours, but could also be because they don't have a satellite office in Oz or the West Coast/BC, so between Montreal and Singapore you got like half a day maybe. I imagine going from GMT to Atlantic you get another gap though probably not as long. One option might be something like recruiting a couple moderators based on time windows, just to make sure there's overlap. More limited moderating tools for that, simply to block spambot type behavior with multiposts that are obviously spam, or to issue warnings. Could work. It's just hard when that's an unpaid position cause it can be very taxing and a lot to ask of volunteers. I think you need more of a rotation so people don't get too burnt out probably. Full party so people can tap in tap out periodically, for short and long rests to recoup and regroup hehe.
I think the boards are much improved lately compared to a couple years ago. New boards would make some of this stuff easier to pull off at a go.
Anyhow, it's a thankless job usually I'm sure, but thanks all the same! It makes a difference!
All the best
Last edited by Black_Elk; 12/09/23 12:07 AM.