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Tech Support Machine
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,358
This will help tech support sort issues for the various departments.

This is very much appreciated!

Thank you for your patience, feedback, and very strong feelings. We do appreciate your help in the community!

Please keep the feelings and flaming out of this, we need the data first!
Billing Zuul
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 14
# 2
06-20-2012, 12:14 PM
Please also include any BILLING related issues, so that we can address those as well.

Thank you!
Tech Support User
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
# 3
06-20-2012, 12:29 PM
Problems with the new forums: A complete list.

This is a starting list of problems with the current layout of the new forums as listed in that thread:

1. The white GUI on black background is garish and downright painful to look at.
2. The buttons are all artifacty and ugly.
3. The quote buttons are at the top instead of the bottom of the posts. (why?)
4. The header, while pretty, is too damned big.
5. Signatures seem to be broken and more constricting.
6. When editing a post, it automatically goes into quick reply.
7. Quick Reply doesn't work, giving poster "No thread specified" error message.
8. Followed threads and mail are unavailable.
9. The "Top" button is no longer available.
10. No more "Hotlinking" threads to your signature. Now you need to "Bump" them instead.
11. A post counter. Let the Whoring begin!
12. No more "location" status? Awe.....
13. The Dev tracker appears to be broken.
14. Why are the thread buttons so big? The font hasn't changed.
15. Conversely, why are the smilies so small?
16. All of our previous posts are now attributed to the "Archive Post" user, rather than our accounts.
17. Many posters have been rendered unable to use their their original name.
18. Our names cannot use Caps.
19. BBCode is disabled in signatures (would be nice to be able to style text there)
20. Smileys and forum buttons are anti-aliased to white instead of black.
21. There is no "you have posted in this thread" marker when you view "Today's Posts"
22. There is no easy way to "find all posts by X person" (a tool I used to track threads I posted in, and see responses.)
23. Stock avatars are not diverse enough to really identify with

original post by centersolace

If there is anything more to add from there please refer to the original thread and other users might post here after linked.
Tech Support User
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1
# 4
06-20-2012, 01:01 PM
Linking Accounts messed up my accounts with Cryptic and PWE this linking account thing needs to be fixed ASAP.

The linking issue is very very confusing and if you mess up it will mess up the game login i can not log into STO with my User name.

Last edited by xcom43; 06-20-2012 at 01:04 PM.
Tech Support Machine
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,358
# 5
06-20-2012, 01:07 PM
Please see if this newly updated FAQ helps you:
Tech Support User
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 15
# 6
06-20-2012, 01:09 PM
Sometimes, when quoting a thread, I get a weird message that I have multiple posts selected, and would I like to quote them as well? I then have to clear them, return to the thread, and requote to quote a message properly.

Dev Tracker only tracks 3 people.

Lots of dead space at the top of the page. The header matches the headers on other sections of the STO website, but this is the forums.

When going to the free zen or buy zen pages, it says I have to have a character of level 10 or an account more than a week old. My Cryptic account is (and properly shows as) over 800 days old, and I have a top level character.

I no longer have the list of subscribed threads I did before. Surely there is a way to let us log in to the old forums on our old account, and get signatures and join dates before permanently locking them, or something?

My Cryptic account joined the forums in the summer of 2008. Why wasn't data like that linked or ported over?

I can't see the other posts by members. When I click on their name, it takes me to the Core Connect profile page, and not a list of their other posts on the STO (or any other) forums.
Tech Support Machine
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,358
# 7
06-20-2012, 01:42 PM
Seems like anyone can post in the new STO forum currently, without the restriction from before. If anyone can check this more in-depth, that would be great. We were able to post with non-Zen or C-Points spent on accounts in sub forums outside for PC and Technical issues.
Tech Support User
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 15
# 8
06-20-2012, 02:02 PM
Originally Posted by DarthPanda16 View Post
Seems like anyone can post in the new STO forum currently, without the restriction from before. If anyone can check this more in-depth, that would be great. We were able to post with non-Zen or C-Points spent on accounts in sub forums outside for PC and Technical issues.
I can't find it now, but in one of the threads where someone posted a bunch of ASCII flipping you lot the bird, there was a discussion about whether they would get banned, and it came up that all you need to do is get a new account unrelated to your actual one, make sure the IP is different to avoid you just banning all accounts associated with the IP, and post away.

Are you going to address the issues raised here that aren't answered in the FAQ?

Edit: Another issue: No report button to report improper posts.

Last edited by felderburg; 06-20-2012 at 03:24 PM.
Tech Support Machine
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,358
# 9
06-20-2012, 02:45 PM
We can't discuss how any suspensions or bans are researched, reviewed, handled, and carried out. Be assured there are patented technologies that help game companies do this

The Ascii art is the least of the worries at this point. People are upset, and as long as they are reasonable in expressing their feelings on the matter, they may not get suspended or banned.
Tech Support User
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4
# 10
06-20-2012, 03:18 PM
Originally Posted by th3xr34p3r View Post
Really want to second the link to that thread. I'm glad someone is putting our thoughts into a more-or-less collected list, as the forum could use a lot of work. It really feels like it wasn't tested at all before rolled out live.

Even if you can't get old posts linked to accounts, as I suspect we are far beyond that point if y'all have already rolled to a new database/upgraded the database, the usability and UI issues (massive header, color choices, icon/image alignment and pixelation, BBcode functionality) are pretty vital if you could look into those please.

Oh man I am so glad we don't have these bear smilies in the STO forum. Thanks for that, at least.

EDIT: Oh, you posted in that thread and wanted us to post items here. OK! I can do that, if it's at all helpful. My thanks ahead of time if you read through this whole post. I do appreciate it.

I've made some of my comments based on the assumption that it is indeed vBulletin you have under the hood. I admin at a couple vBulletin forums and am basing a couple of these things on how I know the database to work, but it is possible you have custom implementations that are different.

The Forum Header
Currently, the STO forum has four headers. There is the overall PWE header that has the PW logo, links to all games, my account, language, and logging out. Then there is the STO header that has the STO letterhead/logo with the menu items standard on all STO website pages. Then we have the rather large "banner" for the forum that, while pretty, serves absolutely no purpose other than to force content lower on the screen. Finally, we have a vBulletin forum header of sorts that has the links to the userCP, welcome information, breadcrumbs to identify where in the forum a user is, etc. and the ad banner.

Ideally, in my opinion, we'd dump all but the outside two. I get that PW sites probably all have that PW portion across the top, and the last bit is obviously part of vBulletin and, thus, the forum. The STO site header and the Forum image are wholly unnecessary and only get in the way. Perhaps add a link to the STO main site in the top header in lieu of all that. In any case, getting rid of what essentially amounts to white space would improve the flow of the page and make it easier for users to more quickly get to what they want -- i.e. the content of a thread or post.

I mean, look at this tech support forum. It's just the PWE bit across the top and then the "forum proper", so to say, with no fluff in between (nice background, though). STO's forum should follow this format, in my opinion.

Icons and Images
The STO forum employs a black/dark backgrounds, but nearly all of the little button images (quoting, multi-quoting, reply, edit, etc.) appear to come from some PW stock somewhere (as they appear to be the same as the ones here) yet they all have white artifacts around the edges. They should be aliased to black.

Ideally in addition to blending the background better they'd be given a more appropriate color for the STO forum (blue, I guess, if it stays with the current theme).

Note that some of them also aren't aligned properly with the others. Even here, for example, quote and multi-off aren't vertically aligned. Someone should get into the CSS and fix that.

This is also true for smilies/emoticons. They look rather silly.

Is the text larger now (it certainly looks to be at a larger font size than before, but without them side by side I won't stand behind that claim), by the way? For some reason I feel like it is, but it may just be a side-effect of the overall look-and-feel changing.

BB Code
We can't use it in signatures.
Perhaps that is intentional, but it would be nice to have some more customization of how text is displayed (e.g. I for one like to make sig text slightly smaller than post text, if I use any, to help distinguish it. I know others would use color if possible). Even just allowing links would be nice, as I know some posters who maintained guides and advice threads linked to them or their fleet sites in signatures, and that can be very, very handy.

Other BBcode in general seems to not really work, such as indents and some formatting in posts. I haven't used much in my own posts beyond italics and bold and URLs, so I unfortunately cannot offer you a more complete idea of what was lost.

Mail / Private Messages
Previously, forum private messages were actually hooked into the game mail system, meaning I could be on the forum and see when in-game auctions sold or expired and, conversely, be in the game and read a PM I got from the forum. While neat, I won't miss this feature. However others have already discovered that some of their mail is missing or inaccessible since the forum changeover, and I know others really liked this feature. It would be nice to have that system back.

While clearly not broken, some folks are finding that their images are being scaled smaller. Can we get a clear idea of what has changed here? In other words, I believe it would help if you could post any forum restrictions in place (i.e. image dimension limits, filesize limits, line/character limits, etc.) so folks can see if they need to adjust or if something else is happening.

It also appears to be that changes to the signature are not updated in all posts by that user but rather only posts from the change forward. That's... Well, that's not what vBulletin does (as signatures are an element stored in the forum database and retrieved at the time of a page request and, thus, inherently dynamic, whereas it currently appears that they are written into a post as part of the post staticly), so I am not sure what you have done there.

Really, having a small number of pre-determined avatars is worse than just not having them. If you're cool with letting users retain custom signatures, please let us have custom avatars again. They go much further toward helping quickly identify a poster -- especially the ones that are more active -- and differentiate individuals. Human beings are very visual, and it's much quicker to glance over avatars when skimming posts than it is to read usernames.

Avatars are smaller than signatures, both in filesize and dimension, so if we're allowed to upload signature images I am not sure why avatars were restricted, especially when avatars can be much more useful in identifying folks.

Which brings this up, of course, as many posters that have had to merge no longer have the same username. This is rather unfortunate, as some names were quite regular. If they could post their usual avatar, it would help. However, not having custom avatars and not being able to retain their former name means we have a lot of bland, un-memorizable posts being made at random (not what's happening, but it's how it feels).

Without knowing how your database is set up / has changed from before, I cannot and won't try to assume anything about how easy or difficult it would be to revert names or allow people to re-claim them, so I'll just refer back to the avatar issue in the hopes that may alleviate some of the issue.

I deliberately never used a capital S for my username back when I first started using it decades ago, so the fact that we can't have capitals in names doesn't bug me. However I totally understand why it does others. You have capitals in your name, DarthPanda, so I am led to question why this happened to everyone in STO. Can they get them implemented?

Various Forum/Thread Icon Queues
"Queues" isn't quite the correct word, but what I am getting at is all the icons next to threads and posts that let you know things like "There are unread posts in this thread" and "You have posted in this thread." If these ARE implemented, it is poor enough that it's barely noticeable. These should be very clear and distinguishable, both in the list of threads when viewing a forum section and in the overall forum section list (where here a section with unread threads/posts should have a different / brighter icon than forum sections with no new posts).

**update: OK, sometimes it looks like they are there, sometimes not. Threads that are bold, meaning new posts, appear to get an icon in some instances and not in others. It is unclear if this is because they are "hot topics" or because I have posted in them (though if I took the time to read them all I could figure it out... haha...). Anyway I suppose the icons ARE there, it's just not immediate how they correspond / why sometimes I get nothing. I could snap a screenshot and label it if that would help.

Core Linking
Due to linking profiles to the Core system, we have no means to make use of vBulletin features like "Find all threads started by" and "Find all posts by". This is rather unfortunate. My intent is not to knock Core, for it may be a neat thing that many players in your games use. However, I personally do not and would much rather have the forum-based profiles, as that is what I would be looking for when I click a name.

Edit Boxes / Reply Boxes
This is quite a minor nitpick, but if the Title text field when replying/creating a thread can be set to white text on black I think it's far to have the overall edit area follow suit. This is really quite minor, though, so please feel free to ignore!

I also tried to search on a username, as an alternative to the profiles supplanted by Core, and got a database error. Ehrm.

Forum Customization Options
There are no options for the following:
- posts-per-page settings
- time zone!!!!
- themes (though we didn't have those before, so meh)
- to hide signatures when viewing threads if we want

Mark As Read
Right now this is only accessible in the "Forum Tools" menu that I am pretty sure the majority of vBulletin users world-wide forget exists regularly. It would be nice to have this link/tool available somewhere at the top/bottom/both of each forum section and the overall forum list view.

I've edited in a few more things.

Last edited by synkr0nized; 06-20-2012 at 04:55 PM.

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