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dazarobbo

dazarobbo

10/27/2012 8:02:16 AM
In Bungie.next, there should be a change in the way the forums display topics and posts. Namely, modifying the view of topics and forums to focus more on the content that's being created (topics and posts) and less on the authors. To start off, take a look at any forum page. Now look at any individual entry for a topic. You have eight elements: - Status (the icon adjacent to the topic) - Title - Reply counter - Author - Date posted - Who replied last - Date of the last reply - Pager links ("[Pages: 1 2 .. 7 8]" portion) In my opinion, the bare minimum for a useful topic display (just from those above) would include the title, date posted, and reply count. The others are kind of iffy, so I'm going to explain why I do/do not think each of these elements are or are not important. [b]Status[/b][quote]Other than being another place to click on to access the topic (and that's even a bit misleading on topics without an icon), these have no other use. As far as what they indicate, only locked topics have (and should - more on this later) have any useful indicator to them. - The [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconNew.gif]new posts[/url] (ie. those with less than 51 replies [i]and[/i] have a post within the last 30 minutes) icon is somewhat flawed and redundant. Firstly, "Hot topics" (and others) override this, so even if a topic has new posts this doesn't show up. Secondly, the constraint on having a post within the last 30 minutes is redundant because the forum is sorted chronologically by the last post date - I can look at the reply count and the date instead (in fact I can then apply my own idea of what constitutes a topic with "new posts"). - I think the idea of [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconHot.gif]hot topics[/url] is to give a kind of indicator as for whether or not a topic is popular and you should probably check it out (that's the way it seems, anyway). Unfortunately I don't think this is a good measure of whether the topic is actually worth reading or not, and is really just a quick indicator for whether a topic has more than 50 replies (again, something I cannot customise - why does/should it take 51 replies for a "hot" topic?). - [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconBungie.gif]Employee[/url] and [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconLocked.gif]locked[/url] topics fall into a single category - those which have some kind of administrative functionality; "this is an [important] announcement" and "this is a topic which you shouldn't create", respectively. I really don't think these need something as big as an icon. A small tag included alongside/adjacent to the topic (a la Reddit's admin/NSFW tags) would be sufficient IMO. [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconPinned.gif]Pinned[/url] and [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconPinLocked.gif]Pinned and locked[/url] icons are redundant since they both appear in the pinned topics section. Pinned and locked topics could easily have the "locked tag" applied as well. - [url=http://www.bungie.net/images/base_struct_images/forums/IconArchived.gif]Archived topics[/url] could probably have the same kind of tag applied, but I don't really have an opinion on them since I don't think topics should be archived at all.[/quote] [b]Title[/b][quote]Obviously keep this, but make two changes: 1) Allow other character sets to be input; and 2) Keep a character limit, increase it, but don't truncate the string. Wrap it around to a new line. Possibly make the font larger too.[/quote] [b]Reply counter[/b][quote]As odd as it might sound, I think this can contribute to determining whether the topic is worth clicking on (plus, it's always an interesting statistic). Definitely keep this, but maybe move it from the line where the title is displayed and/or decrease the font size.[/quote] [b]Author[/b][quote]While I can't exactly explain why, I think it is useful to see who has posted a topic from the forum page.[/quote] [b]Date posted[/b][quote]Again, I have no justification for keeping this here other than it being useful information. However, [i][b]PLEASE CHANGE IT TO RELATIVE TIME![/b][/i] A rollover which displays the full [i]local[/i] date and time would be brilliant too.[/quote] [b]Who replied last[/b][quote]This I do not feel is useful enough to warrant it existing on the forum page. That is to say, in the context of viewing the forums to look for topics, whoever posted last is irrelevant.[/quote] [b]Date of the last reply[/b][quote]Considering that the forum is sorted chronologically by default, this isn't really all that useful (especially when I can just go into the topic and look at the last reply). The only time this might be useful is if you could sort the forums by different criteria (eg. reply count, etc...). If it were kept, do the same with the date posted and change it to relative time and include a local timestamp on rollover.[/quote] [b]Pager links[/b][quote]I've honestly never used them because I don't find them all that useful. I wouldn't miss them if they disappeared.[/quote] Hopefully that explains some of my justifications for wanting the forum topics to change. Now onto posts within topics. Each post has five elements at the highest level. An avatar, titlebar, the post itself, reply/edit/report/etc... buttons, and a timestamp. I want to expand on the titlebar only though because its sub-elements are displayed as well. So we end up with: - Avatar - Username - Title - Message user link - Groups link - More/Signature arrow - Post - Post buttons - Timestamp Once again, the bare minimum would only include the username, post, post buttons, and timestamp. Here's why: [b]Avatar[/b][quote]Sorry to disappoint, but as far as what people should be focusing on within the topic, it shouldn't be the avatar. It is too prominent and takes up too much space when it is alongside a post. Given the [current] size of the area where posts are displayed, having the avatar there takes up about a fifth of the total space. I think it should be removed completely, shrunk considerably (eg. 45x45, 32x32), moved above/below the post, or added dynamically/on-demand as a panel that appears when rolling over the username.[/quote] [b]Username[/b][quote]Yes, keep this. Although what if its position were changed? Beside/below the post contents?[/quote] [b]Title[/b][quote]Except for administrative titles (Employee, Ninja, etc...) and perhaps an indicator for who the OP is (a nice little addition IMO) titles are kind of silly and a waste of space here. I don't really care if they continue to exist, but I don't like the fact they exist in a context where they have little meaning and are bigger than the actual post text. Having them in the panel I was talking about might look nice, and would be appropriate if I cared to learn more about a specific user.[/quote] [b]Message user link[/b][quote]Very rarely will I use this since I can click someone's profile then hit send message. In that respect it's redundant (and it seems more intuitive to initiate sending a PM from a profile page anyway).[/quote] [b]Groups link[/b][quote]Same as the above.[/quote] [b]More/Signature arrow[/b][quote]While the contents of the box that appears as a result of clicking the arrow isn't shown by default, the contents of this box are redundant since I can click a user's profile and get the same information. Again, this information might be more appropriate if displayed in a dynamically added rollover box.[/quote] [b]Post[/b][quote]No changes.[/quote] [b]Post buttons[/b][quote]I don't really see any other way these could be displayed. Although, what if these were fixed to the browser window while scrolling through a long post?[/quote] [b]Timestamp[/b][quote]Obviously this should stay, but with a few changes: 1) Inclusion of relative time (eg. "10 minutes ago", "3 months ago", "4 years ago", etc...). 2) Inclusion of an English-like timestamp. That means a timestamp like "Today at 5:01 PM", "Yesterday at 11:35 AM", for any recent timestamps instead of what we currently have "10.01.2012 11:17 PM PDT", because if I look at that on its own I don't know whether it's the 10th of January or the 1st of October. Older timestamps should have something like "Wed Oct 17 2012 at 2:44 PM". Structuring and displaying a timestamp in this way is readable by everyone, regardless of their locale. 3) [b][i]LOCAL TIMESTAMPS![/i][/b] Or at the very least set to UTC. This is VERY important.[/quote] That's pretty much it I think. Most of the functional things I'd like to have I've talked about in other topics, and the only other time I've given my opinion on the layout of the site was in regard to the Reach game pages, but never the forums. Anyway, hopefully the Web Team finds this and whatever arises in the ensuing discussion useful for Bungie.next.

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    GrandmasterNinja

    GrandmasterNinja

    10/31/2012 1:02:19 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] A shmexy hamster I agree on everything almost completely, except the Avatar thing. I just think we should have something for us to stand out then than our usernames.[/quote] This and I don't like the idea of removing the "last post: [insert name here]" indicator. Because you can see if somebody other than you posted to the thread after you reletivly easier than just checking in on the thread if sombody replied.
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    Izak609

    Izak609

    10/31/2012 6:56:50 AM Permalink
    I understand cutting unused features, for simplicity's sake, or wanting to minimize on users to further prevent bias, &c; but I don't think the proposed feature cuts would make posts easier to read. The thing that affects readability the most is the author, to the extent that the proposed cuts won't make a clear difference. In fact, I believe that by putting less emphasis on the user, it makes it harder to read that user's post, as it takes longer to recognize their posting style.
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    CrazzySnipe55

    CrazzySnipe55

    10/31/2012 6:34:59 AM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] dazarobbo The reason I gave for some of the elements on a forum page and forum post being removed is the title of this thread. If you want that in a single word, it's readability. Some of the other reasons I gave were from the perspective of usability (ie. there is little usability in "message user" links). In either case I've tried to give what I would consider an appropriate compromise or alternative for an element's removal, but they all still boil-down to the thread title.[/quote]Okay. You're the person proposing this new idea. Tell me in what way the current system detracts from focusing on posts to the extent that we need to make it so incredibly boring as to either get rid of or highly cripple the entire Avatar and Title Bar systems. Threads are meant to spawn discussion. Discussion is done between people. The more distinct someone is, the more of a person they are, and the more of an identity they have. Like I said before, I probably wouldn't give a -blam!- about this thread if it was made by someone who made their account 3 months ago. But you're you. You're someone who's been in the community for years upon years. Someone who's had time to experience many different versions of BNet during many different times while it's been at many different levels of population. Therefore I value your opinion, even if I disagree with it to the highest extent.
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    dazarobbo

    dazarobbo

    10/31/2012 6:18:24 AM Permalink
    The reason I gave for some of the elements on a forum page and forum post being removed is the title of this thread. If you want that in a single word, it's readability. Some of the other reasons I gave were from the perspective of usability (ie. there is little usability in "message user" links). In either case I've tried to give what I would consider an appropriate compromise or alternative for an element's removal, but they all still boil-down to the thread title.
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    CrazzySnipe55

    CrazzySnipe55

    10/31/2012 5:54:35 AM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Kickimanjaro [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 Even after having read every post you've made towards me and the OP I have absolutely no specific idea why you dislike and abhor the utilization of avatars and title bars other than the ridiculous "we don't need them"-reason that you so avidly (from what I can remember) argued against in all of the social features, friends list, etc. threads. It seems so ridiculously hypocritical that I must insist that you tell me your real argument, reason, or otherwise. The one that isn't completely ridiculous.[/quote]Could this not be his point entirely? You wrote off his reasons because they conflict with what you believe he said previously. We all take a bias on these forums, and we judge others, but we also all change our minds sometimes. Should we be given a fresh slate all the time? No. Should we be given the benfit of the doubt? Yes. I like the idea of focusing more on what people have to say than on who they are, however I feel that this is something one has to do themselves, and not something that a system could apply (whilst still keeping the social feel that I, and I hope others, have come to enjoy on Bungie.net). With that said, arguments without reasons are like sandcastles at the beach--they can look good or look terrible, but at the end of the day, the tide washes them all away the same. Carry on.[/quote]Take away that bias and what you're left with is just a ridiculous argument without the hypocrisy to make it even worse. The "we don't need it" argument is good for very few things, just as is the "this isn't Facebook" one, and is rarely used properly. In this situation, it's used to attempt to dismiss features someone disagrees with without actually proposing any direct and apparent negatives that the features present to the community at large and without presenting any real reason for their discontinuation that backs up the whole "we don't need it" argument*. *this being the only real way to go about passing off the "we don't need it" argument. [Edited on 10.30.2012 9:55 PM PDT]
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    Kickimanjaro

    Kickimanjaro

    10/31/2012 5:39:23 AM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 Even after having read every post you've made towards me and the OP I have absolutely no specific idea why you dislike and abhor the utilization of avatars and title bars other than the ridiculous "we don't need them"-reason that you so avidly (from what I can remember) argued against in all of the social features, friends list, etc. threads. It seems so ridiculously hypocritical that I must insist that you tell me your real argument, reason, or otherwise. The one that isn't completely ridiculous.[/quote]Could this not be his point entirely? You wrote off his reasons because they conflict with what you believe he said previously. We all take a bias on these forums, and we judge others, but we also all change our minds sometimes. Should we be given a fresh slate all the time? No. Should we be given the benfit of the doubt? Yes. I like the idea of focusing more on what people have to say than on who they are, however I feel that this is something one has to do themselves, and not something that a system could apply (whilst still keeping the social feel that I, and I hope others, have come to enjoy on Bungie.net). Yet we should continue the discussion to see if we can discover new ways that such a system could be implemented, and who knows? Perhaps we will find a way to encourage thoughtful dialog and friendly interaction all together. With that said, arguments without reasons are like sandcastles at the beach--they can look good or look terrible, but at the end of the day, the tide washes them all away the same. Carry on. [Edited on 10.30.2012 9:44 PM PDT]
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    CrazzySnipe55

    CrazzySnipe55

    10/31/2012 5:25:04 AM Permalink
    Even after having read every post you've made towards me and the OP I have absolutely no specific idea why you dislike and abhor the utilization of avatars and title bars other than the ridiculous "we don't need them"-reason that you so avidly (from what I can remember) argued against in all of the social features, friends list, etc. threads. It seems so ridiculously hypocritical that I must insist that you tell me your real argument, reason, or otherwise. The one that isn't completely ridiculous.
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    ankerd123

    ankerd123

    10/31/2012 5:09:43 AM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bungie Sam [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] dazarobbo [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bungie Sam [url=http://i.imgur.com/yzyCy.png]Interesting, don't you think?[/url][/quote]Push the post area all the way over to the left as well.[/quote][url=http://i.imgur.com/ZXE4f.png]Is this accurate?[/url][/quote] Looks terrible IMO.
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    dazarobbo

    dazarobbo

    10/31/2012 4:54:48 AM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 [u]Response to Section the First, the Second, and the Third:[/u] And that's all well and good that those communities have managed to, without the level of identification we have the good fortune to have access to here on BNet, create such tight-knit communities. However, I see no real reason to diminish the way in which these identities are presented (whether you believe them to be prominent or otherwise). Are they really getting in your way? Are you honestly irked every time you have to begrudgingly wade your way through the sea and mess of individuality that are the title bar and avatar?[/quote]I've already given reasons why I think there should be less emphasis on users. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 Are they that glaringly obtrusive that you would see them diminished in size, relevance, importance, distinction, let alone existence just so satisfy your confusing and (IMO) malevolent goals of seeing a BNet that now has significantly less identification between members and has become a series of different news articles upon which one may comment and read the comments of others in a uniform, vanilla, boring, grayscale fashion? If you answered yes to any of those, why? Why is the current set up such a nuisance and what feature(s) is it getting in the way of?[/quote]Again, I've given reasons, specifically in the OP. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 [u]Response to Section the Fourth:[/u] About Me sections are never put after posts. Not on those sites you mentioned. Not on any other mainstream or well-organized forum. Not anywhere. And certainly not on BNet. You know what is put after a post? Signatures. Which are misused. If people somehow managed to hack their avatars and make them a 9000x9000 animated .gif's, then that would be a -blam!-load of personalization, and yet would be abusing and misusing a feature.[/quote]The reason I asked the question is because you're championing user identities in the forums, so why be content with what we have at the moment when we could have [i]more[/i] user individuality with the inclusion of the customisable about me/signature boxes that are displayed in the forums? You're wrong about them not being shown on other forums as well. Look at the forums for Battlefield 3, Minecraft, EA, Gearbox, etc... and you'll see they all do. So tell me why they shouldn't be here.
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    Rainbow Dash

    Rainbow Dash

    10/31/2012 4:23:46 AM Permalink
    [quote]Namely, modifying the view of topics and forums to focus more on the content that's being created (topics and posts) and less on the authors.[/quote]Oh thank sweet...
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    CrazzySnipe55

    CrazzySnipe55

    10/31/2012 4:20:27 AM Permalink
    [u]Response to Section the First, the Second, and the Third:[/u] And that's all well and good that those communities have managed to, without the level of identification we have the good fortune to have access to here on BNet, create such tight-knit communities. However, I see no real reason to diminish the way in which these identities are presented (whether you believe them to be prominent or otherwise). Are they really getting in your way? Are you honestly irked every time you have to begrudgingly wade your way through the sea and mess of individuality that are the title bar and avatar? Are they that glaringly obtrusive that you would see them diminished in size, relevance, importance, distinction, let alone existence just so satisfy your confusing and (IMO) malevolent goals of seeing a BNet that now has significantly less identification between members and has become a series of different news articles upon which one may comment and read the comments of others in a uniform, vanilla, boring, grayscale fashion? If you answered yes to any of those, why? Why is the current set up such a nuisance and what feature(s) is it getting in the way of? [u]Response to Section the Fourth:[/u] About Me sections are never put after posts. Not on those sites you mentioned. Not on any other mainstream or well-organized forum. Not anywhere. And certainly not on BNet. You know what is put after a post? Signatures. Which are misused. If people somehow managed to hack their avatars and make them a 9000x9000 animated .gif's, then that would be a -blam!-load of personalization, and yet would be abusing and misusing a feature. [Edited on 10.30.2012 8:21 PM PDT]
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    dazarobbo

    dazarobbo

    10/31/2012 3:40:51 AM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 [i]On community identities...[/i][/quote]A couple of things to say about this. 1) You made a comparison to 4chan on the basis of anonymity, then redacted the comment while acknowledging that's not what I stated the site should act like. 2) Look at how the forum on a site like Reddit is structured. It has even less elements to each post that what I'm suggesting, yet identities aren't lost; it's still a "community" (search on Google for how Reddit users have even had get-togethers and meetups not unlike Bungie.net's community). This kind of interaction and sense of community isn't limited to Reddit, either. Other sites with limited "identities" (and all I'm referring to is the forum!) still have users who recognise each other. Hell, look at how Usenet worked in its heyday and there's an extremely good example of a kind of community with [i]extremely[/i] limited identities (just usernames and email addresses mostly). Slashdot is another good example, IMO (take a look at how user information is represented on comments). Edit: one of the other reasons you probably get a greater sense of "the community" here is because this forum is generally used by the same people. So I don't think this is something that is appropriate to claim when you consider the entire population of the site. That last point I think is especially relevant in times of high traffic. This forum for as long as I can remember has generally had the same amount of traffic. The same cannot be said for others like the game forums. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 [quote]Why do people need such an overbearing and prominent "identity" in the forums?[/quote]The system you're proposing has in it next to no identity at all, so to call the current system one where a given user has "an overbearing and prominent 'identity'", is a little silly. Coup is more of an example of an overbearing and prominent identity.[/quote]Actually I was talking about the current setup and why you seem to think we need what I referred to as an "overbearing and prominent identity", not what I'm suggesting. I was merely asking you why our so-called identities need to be displayed the way they are and not in a different/reduced way or prominence. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 [quote] So others can see they belong to some kind of group/clique?[/quote]If this is an attempt to associate the displaying of title bars with the idea of "I'm a ______ member so I'm cool" or something like that, then that's not what I'm getting at at all. If it's more of a sincere question of whether or not people want to appear as if they belong to a group, even if that group is as vaguely defined as "People who regular Bungie.net", then yes. I think that definitely is something people want. And the more identified and the more they stand out from the two users above and below them, the more they can identify as a person within a community rather than a user within a website.[/quote]I agree. I don't particularly have a problem with identifying users - or giving them an identity for that matter - what I do find to be a problem is giving the details of those identities in places where they aren't so relevant or necessary (at least in place of other features or in such a way that they negatively impact the necessary elements within a certain context). In this particular discussion we're having, I'm only interested in talking about the identities [i]as they are displayed in the forums[/i]. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] CrazzySnipe55 [quote]Secondly, why isn't the contents of my signature displayed at the bottom of each of my posts? Should it?[/quote]Signatures, while an even further extension of the identification and differentiation between User A and User B, are easily abused and often not utilized the way they're meant to. They're a signature, a way to sign your post. Not a place to post your favorite quote or advertise your off-site Forge Forum or YouTube channel, and they're too commonly misused to warrant their utilization. If you want to sign your post, sign it. Manually. With whatever moniker you wish to give yourself. People like yorkie, Delta, TGP, and (from what I gather) BB have proven that if you do this manually it helps loads more with creating an identity than does a signature full of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Myspace, Tumblr, Flickr, Blogger, Digg, and YouTube information.[/quote]Firstly, who are you to tell someone what they should or shouldn't be putting in there or what's acceptable or not? Where's the sense of identification, personalisation, and individuality which you've been championing if I'm restricted to posting an actual signature? Where's the "fun" in that, as you were referring to such features earlier? Restricting this doesn't seem all that different from removing some other element in a forum post which might help uniquely identify a user, like an avatar or title. For the record, it's actually labelled an "About Me" section, too. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Xplode441 Supports friends list, but doesn't want people to know who anyone is so they can make friends.[/quote]In case someone misses it in the pool of text above, I'm only referring to removing some of the identifying features associated with a user in the forums and in a forum post, potentially for enhancing the readability and usability of the forums themselves and to make way (and room!) for other features to be included. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Iggyhopper[/quote]The wording on this part was a little off on my part, sorry. The last post date should be kept, but changed to relative time instead. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Pulse Cloud Although I agree that avatars are worthless, they serve a very practical purpose to me: I use them to separate posts. Entire walls of text are very difficult to skim through, so having a colorful, variable picture separating each post is a very easy way for my eyes to figure out the layout of the page even while scrolling.[/quote]This was something I was hoping someone was going to bring up at some point because yes, I absolutely agree that avatars separate posts nicely. However, could it be done in a different/better way that leaves more room for post contents? [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Pulse Cloud This is also why I think pushing the user's metadata to the bottom of his post, especially the avatar, would make it harder to comprehend how posts are laid out (there's a reason why titles are always above the text body).[/quote]If user data is at the bottom of posts, it's still going to act as a separator for them. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Pulse Cloud Finally, I like how small the post area's length is: 300+ characters lines are impossible to read, whereas 80-100 are fairly easy. About 60 would be ideal for me, though.[/quote]I disagree. I think this is one of the reasons (aka. problems) we have such massive walls of text here; there simply isn't enough room for posts. Dynamically expanding posts would obviously work pretty well for this, but I've never really been a fan of them (or that kind of page presentation). [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Xd00999 For starters, I browse B.net on mobile, so a scroll over box wouldn't work for me.[/quote]The main site is not formatted for mobile devices. This is not a good argument. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Xd00999 Secondly, avatars and titles are what I use to identify members.[/quote]Apart from administrative titles, what purpose does a title serve in a discussion? How is it relevant to the discussion? [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Xd00999 I also disagree with the idea of removing the last post date and user. Sometimes I looked at a thread that I was only mildly interested in because a user I recognized was posting there and I was curious about what they are up to. If I was in a discussion, I also look to see if the user I was talking to had psted, so I could check for a reply.[/quote]I contend that this is the kind of functionality you would want from a friends list (and would be more appropriately placed there), not by the default forum view. [Edited on 10.30.2012 7:44 PM PDT]
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    halo odst 117 MC
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    Tilted the Wolf

    Tilted the Wolf

    10/30/2012 2:57:25 AM Permalink
    Brilliant Idea Here: Customizable setup. Leave the current form as default, have several other pre-sets, and then have a tool that lets you make all the changes you want. *Note: I did not read all the replies, so I do not know if this has been suggested already.
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    Macharius

    Macharius

    10/29/2012 11:37:03 PM Permalink
    I find myself disagreeing with almost everything you have said. I like the layout and I see no reason to remove avatars and/or titles from the post and put them in a drop down box. For starters, I browse B.net on mobile, so a scroll over box wouldn't work for me. Secondly, avatars and titles are what I use to identify members. If I see the mustach bomb I know it is Burrito, if I see the Superintendent, I know it is Lobster Fish. Taking that away would remove one of the features I really, truly enjoy; that of identification. I also disagree with the idea of removing the last post date and user. Sometimes I looked at a thread that I was only mildly interested in because a user I recognized was posting there and I was curious about what they are up to. If I was in a discussion, I also look to see if the user I was talking to had psted, so I could check for a reply. It is also convenient to just click the last post time stamp and automatically jump to the newest posts, especially if you have been following the topic regularily and you want to get to the newest post quicker.
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    Dutchy
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    Pulse Cloud

    Pulse Cloud

    10/29/2012 11:14:59 PM Permalink
    I really, REALLY agree with the part about how time should be displayed. As a Eurofriend who lives in a UTC+0 country, PDT and PST have absolutely no meaning at all for me. Although I agree that avatars are worthless, they serve a very practical purpose to me: I use them to separate posts. Entire walls of text are very difficult to skim through, so having a colorful, variable picture separating each post is a very easy way for my eyes to figure out the layout of the page even while scrolling. This is also why I think pushing the user's metadata to the bottom of his post, especially the avatar, would make it harder to comprehend how posts are laid out (there's a reason why titles are always above the text body). Finally, I like how small the post area's length is: 300+ characters lines are impossible to read, whereas 80-100 are fairly easy. About 60 would be ideal for me, though. [Edited on 10.29.2012 3:19 PM PDT]
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    Euripides
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    Iggyhopper

    Iggyhopper

    10/29/2012 9:48:45 PM Permalink
    [quote]Date of the last reply Considering that the forum is sorted chronologically by default, this isn't really all that useful (especially when I can just go into the topic and look at the last reply). The only time this might be useful is if you could sort the forums by different criteria (eg. reply count, etc...). If it were kept, do the same with the date posted and change it to relative time and include a local timestamp on rollover. [/quote]What!? Date of last reply is useful because you know if its active before you go into the thread. Q. Why would you want to go to the last post? A.1. To discuss the topic. A.2. You want to get an update on a thread you have already read. Q. How do you know the discussion is still alive? A. You look at the last reply date. This is very relevant to topics that are on the front page now, like: "How is everyone dealing with the darkness?" You don't need to read the first post because the question fits in the title. [Edited on 10.29.2012 2:03 PM PDT]
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    Guilty Spark

    Guilty Spark

    10/28/2012 9:31:12 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] dazarobbo [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bungie Sam [url=http://i.imgur.com/yzyCy.png]Interesting, don't you think?[/url][/quote]Push the post area all the way over to the left as well.[/quote][url=http://i.imgur.com/ZXE4f.png]Is this accurate?[/url]
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    Xplode441

    Xplode441

    10/28/2012 8:51:53 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] dazarobbo [/quote]Supports friends list, but doesn't want people to know who anyone is so they can make friends.
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    FoMan123

    FoMan123

    10/28/2012 8:23:15 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Recon Number 54 I respectfully disagree. Part of the reason we have (and are) a community is that we begin to "know each other". People not only want to make a name or reputation (fame or infamy, each on a sliding scale) for themselves and the longer and more involved with the community they become, the more they know, recognize and will want to interact (or avoid) other members who have created reputations and histories of their own. Removing OP's name and underplaying an individual (to make their username, avatar, persona less visible and less important) would (IMO) lessen and devalue one of the truly fun, rewarding and positive reasons that I come here. The other people, the good, the bad, and even the ugly. I agree that WHAT a member posts is important, absolutely. It's important to me for its own discussion value, but it is cumulatively important for me (and the whole community) to build personal histories and understandings of how other members think, post, discuss, debate, argue, flame, help, question, and so on. There are a great many people on this site with whom I may disagree (depending on the subject at hand) but I have come to respect their opinions, their abilities and them as individuals. I could have only built that personal "monkeysphere of awareness" if I can easily link a name/persona to their posts. I would not want to diminish that link of a poster to their post.[/quote]Was going to post something similar to this, but Recon said it better so I will just agree with him.
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    HeOnLyKnows19

    HeOnLyKnows19

    10/28/2012 6:57:01 PM Permalink
    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Breadisgood91 You might like 4chan. [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] dazarobbo[/quote][/quote]
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    CrazzySnipe55

    CrazzySnipe55

    10/28/2012 6:01:01 PM Permalink
    [quote]Why would an unlocked topic have the same tags as a locked topic? I think you've gotten confused. All I'm suggesting is adding a little "[locked]" tag alongside any topic which is locked. For pinned and locked topics it would mean that any topic within the pinned topics section (portion of the page above the rest of the topics on page 1) which is locked stays there but also has a "[locked]" tag appended to it.[/quote]Okay, that makes more sense. I still don't see the relationship between locked threads and employee posts but I understand the overall concept. I still like the idea of having a locked icon, but maybe as an overlay on top of what the thread used to be. A locked hot-topic, a locked employee-posted thread, a locked pinned topic, etc. etc. [quote]Intro to answering questions, feel free to skip.[/quote]Identities are important because without them we'd just be 4chan minus the images. I'm well aware that you're not suggesting the removal of usernames in favor of an anon# system, but the point is that we're a community. We're not just another fan-forum. I know that sounds a little elitist or exaggerated, but it's not in my opinion. The FIFA 13 online forums may just be a forum to discuss FIFA 13 with an off-topic section. The Call of Duty online forums may just be a forum to discuss Call of Duty with an off-topic section. The fan-generated Civlization forums may just be a place where people go to argue about which sort of tile with which sort of resource is best to settle your first city on if you're Rome and the difficulty is set to Deity (with an off-topic section). But Bungie.net is not like that, especially not now. It's a community discussing things that are mainly not related to Halo and mainly not related to video games (excluding Destiny). We're no longer a sea of faceless names that you don't recognize as long as you've been here more than 2 or 3 months. And the avatars and titles are an extension of that community atmosphere. And yes, we could go around posting and just objectively respond to a post made by someone in a thread as if it were a prompt presented before you in English class. But why would I do that when I could respond to YOU. dazarobbo. A person. I don't want to respond to a sea of faceless names that I can't easily and readily relate to an identity. As mentioned above, we're a community, not just a place to come ask questions about a game. And how well do communities function (outside 4chan and other anonymous image boards) without any sort of identity or way to tell "erlmixer" from "gamejunkiejoseph"? Now that that's out of the way I'll more specifically answer your questions individually. [quote]Why do people need such an overbearing and prominent "identity" in the forums?[/quote]The system you're proposing has in it next to no identity at all, so to call the current system one where a given user has "an overbearing and prominent 'identity'", is a little silly. Coup is more of an example of an overbearing and prominent identity. But, for argument's sake, let's say that that is what I'm lobbying for: an overbearing and prominent identity. I would argue that this is necessary for a community of this nature. Community's function because of the relationships developed therein. Imagine if, in your high school (or secondary school or whatever you Aussies call it), everyone walked around with a mask on. The same mask. The Guy Fawkes mask, for example. And, the only time you saw someone's face was when they were talking directly to you (you would move your mask up so you could see one another). How disconcerting would that be? On top of that, everyone, boy and girl, wore the same, boring, gray t-shirt and the same, boring, gray pants, accentuated by a mandated pair of of the same, boring, gray shoes. Within the community that is your [whatever] school, you would never be able to tell anybody from anybody else apart from a "Hello, my name is ______" sticker on their shirt. How incredibly difficult would it be to develop relationships with people or identify one another? [quote]Is it perhaps because they want to be recognised?[/quote]Yes, but not in a "Look at me! Look at me!" sort of way, but more of a "Hello, I'm a person and not just a post." sort of way. Recognizing people on here is a way to identify more with the community at large, and to attempt to belittle the idea of community by depersonalizing everyone as a whole and making identification and recognition more and more difficult undermines the very reason lots of people are here: for the community (whether that be that of the Flood or the Septagon). [quote] So others can see they belong to some kind of group/clique?[/quote]If this is an attempt to associate the displaying of title bars with the idea of "I'm a ______ member so I'm cool" or something like that, then that's not what I'm getting at at all. If it's more of a sincere question of whether or not people want to appear as if they belong to a group, even if that group is as vaguely defined as "People who regular Bungie.net", then yes. I think that definitely is something people want. And the more identified and the more they stand out from the two users above and below them, the more they can identify as a person within a community rather than a user within a website. [quote]Secondly, why isn't the contents of my signature displayed at the bottom of each of my posts? Should it?[/quote]Signatures, while an even further extension of the identification and differentiation between User A and User B, are easily abused and often not utilized the way they're meant to. They're a signature, a way to sign your post. Not a place to post your favorite quote or advertise your off-site Forge Forum or YouTube channel, and they're too commonly misused to warrant their utilization. If you want to sign your post, sign it. Manually. With whatever moniker you wish to give yourself. People like yorkie, Delta, TGP, and (from what I gather) BB have proven that if you do this manually it helps loads more with creating an identity than does a signature full of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Myspace, Tumblr, Flickr, Blogger, Digg, and YouTube information. [Edited on 10.28.2012 10:01 AM PDT]
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    Breadisgood91
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    Frag Ingot

    Frag Ingot

    10/28/2012 5:27:10 PM Permalink
    Daz, I got mad respect for you bro, but when Bungie designed b.net they stumbled on a formula that works. Part of that formula is the identity that one can create here. Sterilising the identities here would break the formula, and we would have just another website. Personally,I think your to close to the subject. Take a step back, and remember what got you coming back here in the first place, then refine those concepts, and distill them 'till it kills.
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