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Hylebos

Hylebos

Edited: 1/15/2013 8:21:43 PM
When I first booted up Bungie.next on the Morning of the 10th, I couldn't believe my eyes. The Bungie.net I had once known and loved had completely changed, and I felt very lost and alone. I wandered the then barren landscapes, trying to get a grasp on my surroundings. Soon, familliar faces that were as whitefaced and wide-eyed as I was began to appear through the mist. We came together once again, and slowly, the soul of Bungie.net returned, and life continued anew with dozens of new possibillities. Features I had initially considered confusing and unneccessary revealed their elegance to me, and I started to see how new elements like Hash Tags and Hiding solved many of the age-old problems that had plagued the previous Bungie.net. I still feel that the old Bungie.net was very solid, but this Bungie.next feels like an acceptable improvement that can only get better from here. Among the numerous criticisms I have of the new design, there is one problem on Bungie.next that towers above the rest of my current complaints and is always at the forefront of my mind when I try to think of ways for Bungie.next to improve. Specifically, it has to do with the way that Bungie.net organizes posts in a thread. Currently, Bungie.next displays the responses to a thread as a large heap; the oldest posts go to the very bottom of the pile, while the newest posts are placed at the very top of the stack, right below the original post. Replies to specific comments are displayed as their own side-heaps, with the most recent reply occupying the top of the stack. These reply chains can seemingly branch off infinitely, and every time a response is added, each comment that is being replied to up the chain is bumped to the top of its heap, all the way up to the main heap. [url=http://i868.photobucket.com/albums/ab249/Hylebosaiden/BungienextChronological2_zps425acb03.png]This Diagram might help illustrate this concept, but please let me know if I need to explain this better.[/url] The current system is very useful for tracking recent activity in a thread. Not only does it quickly show you the latest posts, but comments that have recieved a large amount of discussion will have bubbled closer to the top of the heap than comments that haven't seen many replies. However, this style of displaying posts is not without its own drawbacks. Specifically, this way of organizing the thread makes it very difficult to follow the evolution of a topic from its genesis. One of the things that I valued about the original Bungie.net was that every thread was like a story. While the original poster gets to plant the original seed for the discussion, it will quickly grow beyond his control, with each poster taking ideas discussed before and evolving upon them in a logical progression. You could read a controvercial thread and watch as passions flared and scuffles broke out, or you could see a user grow in understanding over the course of a question and answer thread. Before replying to a thread, I would always read every post in the order they were posted because it helped me to understand the topic being discussed and everybody participating in that discussion. With that knowledge I could shape my comment to not only address the original poster, but everyone else in the thread. To steal an analogy used by burritosenior, Bungie.next currently feels like I'm walking through a large city. I chat with the people I meet in passing, but it doesn't feel much like a group discussion, it feels more like a bunch of disconnected micro-discussions that lacks a sense of community. I believe that the easiest way to bring back this sense of cohesion to our topics is to implement an option to sort the thread in descending chronological order so that its evolution can be easily seen from its inception. The diagram at the top of my post hopefully illustrates how this feature would help to make reading an entire thread less confusing. Red lines indicated the start of a new stack, while blue lines represent elements that are part of that new stack. The colors of the posts represent the different people who are posting in this discussion, and their replies are numbered in the order that they replied in. While I don't know the exact specifications for how our posts are stored from a data structure perspective, it seems hard to imagine that the webteam wouldn't be able to implement the abillity to sort posts chronologically as seen in the diagram at the beginning of the thread. The feature wouldn't even take up much screen real estate to implement, it would just be a link alongside the Comment, Hide, Like, and Dislike links that are already displayed on every original post. I'm definitely not the only person who has had a problem with this lack of a feature, and I definitely feel that it's inclusion would improve my abillity to participate in discussions immensely. When I first view a new thread, I could view the thread in chronological order, allowing me to understand the thread in it's entirety before I make a post. After that point, I can swap the thread back to the default display setting so that I can easily be informed of new updates to the conversation when I visit that thread in the future. Doesn't that make so much sense? As ever, I thank you for the patience required to read my lengthy wall. If there is anything that I've said that you don't understand or if there is something you disagree with, please let me know! Together we can help Bungie to forge Bungie.next into the ultimate battlestation for the new era! [url=http://www.bungie.net/en-US/View/community/Forum/Post?id=24318413&path=1]Update 1[/url] -Hylebos

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