January 21, 2019: Various Forum Updates + Changes

seaturtle

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Hey everyone! Today we're excited to announce a plethora of new features that have been added to the forums. Because of these features, we'd also like to make changes to a few of our policies. None of our current policies have been changed yet, so please use this thread to give input and let us know what you think.

Badges:
The badge system has received a visual update! Badges are now sorted into categories, and everyone now has a "Badges" tab on their profile. The badge list will now show you which badges you currently own, along with how many badges you have in a category. Badges will also be awarded as soon as a moderator processes it, instead of waiting for the system to update automatically.

On the subject of badges, there's a discussion about changing current badges/adding new badges going on here. Make sure to check it out!

Thread Prefixes:
Users may now attach more than one prefix to a single thread. This only applies to subforums where there are multiple available tags.

Quotes:
You can now put a quote inside of another quote. This was a feature we had on Azurilland that wasn't implemented on Xenforo, but we've managed to get it to work here as well. The expand button on quotes has also been removed to make quote chaining work the same way it did on the old site.

Profile Views:
We now have the ability to turn on a profile view count. If enabled, this statistic will display alongside Post Count, Likes, and Marripoints. There are also a few other features that can be enabled when using this:
  • Privacy options: Users may choose who this view count appears to, similar to how you can choose who views your profile. Staff members do not bypass these settings, meaning that it is restricted to whomever you choose.
  • Counter reset: users are able to reset the counter in their account options.
Because users can customize who this displays to (in effect an opt-out feature), the forum staff doesn't see any harm in enabling the feature. The only thing that we'd like to change is removing it from the member tooltip (the little blurb that appears when you hover over a username) because it fits better solely on the profile page. This is something that I'm currently looking into, but I'm still not 100% sure it's possible.

Username Changes:
We now have the ability to let users change their own usernames! This also comes with a past usernames log. The log appears on a member's profile, and is accessed via a dropdown from their username (you can see an example of it here). This also has a few other features that we can enable:
  • This can be set to a timer. If enabled, it would be set to 365 days to have the same time period between username changes that we have now.
  • There is an option to restrict who can view your username privacy, just like other privacy settings have. Staff members bypass these settings, meaning that the forum staff will always be able to see your past usernames.
  • If a staff member changes a username manually, it does not appear in the username log. This is useful for if a member has personal details in their username (e.g. their actual name) and does not wish them to show.
If we enable this feature, we will remove the username change request thread and replace it with a guide on how to change your username. We would likely also enable the privacy settings.

Account Deactivation:
The last feature we now have access to is manual account deactivation. This would let members deactivate their accounts on their own. A deactivated account is different from a regular account in the following ways:
  • Their profile cannot be viewed by anyone besides staff members. However, their posts will still appear on the forums.
  • Their username will be struck out to indicate the account is deactivated. We would also include a banner that distinguishes them from a banned member.
  • They will not receive any emails from the forum for notifications, etc.
If a member deactivates their account, they can reactivate it by logging back into the site. However, there is a limit to how long they can reactivate their account manually. Forum staff has come up with a tentative time period of 2 years. After this time passes an account can still be reactivated, but only by forum staff.

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What do you think about these changes? In particular we'd like to know how you feel about Profile Views, Username Changes, and Account Deactivation, since we have some control over how they're implemented.
 

shhmew

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naisu changes!! don't rly have anything actually useful to say but uhh here's some words

Badges:
Thank you!!! This looks so much cleaner and I wasn't a fan of being forced to have all the badges just piled up at the bottom of our profiles...

Profile Views:
Interesting,, but I'm p neutral on this lol

Username Changes:
A lot more convenient, but it'll be a lot harder to know who's changed their name especially since users can hide the changelog (I've always kept the name change thread bookmarked for this reason lol), still a good tradeoff I think.

Account Deactivation:
Sounds great especially since their posts will still exist and staff can still view their profile if need be. Also cool how users can simply recover it again if they want. I remember back on Azuri when I was onstaff, I would get requests from users who wanted their account deactivated but we had a policy against it (prob because it was a lot more permanent and messed with more stuff) and they'd get so confused and upset... so I'm glad we have the option and it sounds nice and simple!!

👏 love u guys ty for the good work
 

Godot

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I feel pretty neutral on half of this stuff, I'm sure they're nice features for those who actually care about badges and profile views though. Having Username changes in a drop down sounds like a good idea, I'm terrible at remembering what usernames people had before changing them so being able to tell at a glance (assuming they choose not to hide past usernames) would be great. Account Deactivation being quick and easy while leaving posts and profiles archived sounds like a nice change. And the two year limit on reactivation without staff's help would certainly feel natural. Overall, nice work ya'll.
 

-Rosen

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Thank you seaturtle, very cool!
 

seaturtle

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Username Changes:
A lot more convenient, but it'll be a lot harder to know who's changed their name especially since users can hide the changelog (I've always kept the name change thread bookmarked for this reason lol), still a good tradeoff I think.
If people want it, we could make it so people don't have the ability to hide their changelog. This is something that could really go either way and I think it depends mostly on what people want. My general feel is that people wouldn't make it private unless they had a reason to (e.g. wanting to disassociate with an old name), and that most people would want to leave it public. That being said, if we do make it display for everyone and someone doesn't want a new username to appear on the log they can always message a staff member privately, just like users have requested to leave old usernames off the name change thread.

People being able to change their own username thing is neat. But would you have to keep it for a year mandatorily then?
Yes, if someone changes their username the system would not let them change it again for a year. However, there would still be exceptions (e.g. removing personal information from a username or minor edits like capitalization) that members could PM a staff member for.
 

shhmew

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Username Changes:
A lot more convenient, but it'll be a lot harder to know who's changed their name especially since users can hide the changelog (I've always kept the name change thread bookmarked for this reason lol), still a good tradeoff I think.
If people want it, we could make it so people don't have the ability to hide their changelog. This is something that could really go either way and I think it depends mostly on what people want. My general feel is that people wouldn't make it private unless they had a reason to (e.g. wanting to disassociate with an old name), and that most people would want to leave it public. That being said, if we do make it display for everyone and someone doesn't want a new username to appear on the log they can always message a staff member privately, just like users have requested to leave old usernames off the name change thread.
yay testing double quote!

that makes sense actually, to just make it clear to users that if they want a name change hidden they can PM a staff member. hiding their past usernames wouldn't be the end of the world but it seems unnecessary for how inconvenient and confusing it would be for others, except in the unlikely event they had a legitimate reason to not want to show a name change (like privacy), in which case they have the option to message staff.

is there a way to put a little note right by where they change their name, saying like "WARNING: If you change your name, your past username will be publicly displayed. If you don't want your past username to show, message a staff member to have it changed instead." Something like that? Or, is there a way for staff to manually remove only certain usernames from a list of past usernames?
 

seaturtle

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Username Changes:
A lot more convenient, but it'll be a lot harder to know who's changed their name especially since users can hide the changelog (I've always kept the name change thread bookmarked for this reason lol), still a good tradeoff I think.
If people want it, we could make it so people don't have the ability to hide their changelog. This is something that could really go either way and I think it depends mostly on what people want. My general feel is that people wouldn't make it private unless they had a reason to (e.g. wanting to disassociate with an old name), and that most people would want to leave it public. That being said, if we do make it display for everyone and someone doesn't want a new username to appear on the log they can always message a staff member privately, just like users have requested to leave old usernames off the name change thread.
yay testing double quote!

that makes sense actually, to just make it clear to users that if they want a name change hidden they can PM a staff member. hiding their past usernames wouldn't be the end of the world but it seems unnecessary for how inconvenient and confusing it would be for others, except in the unlikely event they had a legitimate reason to not want to show a name change (like privacy), in which case they have the option to message staff.

is there a way to put a little note right by where they change their name, saying like "WARNING: If you change your name, your past username will be publicly displayed. If you don't want your past username to show, message a staff member to have it changed instead." Something like that? Or, is there a way for staff to manually remove only certain usernames from a list of past usernames?
Triple quote :hmmazurill:

Yes, it should be possible to put a note in the settings area where users can change their name. I don't think it'd even be hard to do that, but no promises until I've looked into it heheh. I haven't been able to find any way to edit the past username log though, so once something is on the list it's permanent.
 

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Going down the list and giving quick thoughts:
Badges: Good change.
Thread Prefixes/Quotes: k then
Profile Views: I don't really care about this, lol. More statistics are always interesting, but it really doesn't matter either way.
Username Changes: I'd say it's a good idea since it's a lot more streamlined then the way it currently is.
Account Deactivation: This is a good idea.
 

seaturtle

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Since it's been over a week without any other input, I've gone and made the suggested changes. Users may now change their usernames once every year, username logs are public, and a note exists in your Account Details explaining what to do if you want your username change to be private. The old name change thread has been replaced with a thread explaining how to change your username, and the old username change log has been included there for reference.

Profile views and account deactivation have also been enabled. I'm still looking for a way to remove profile views from the member tooltip, so if I figure it out I'll make a post in the minor updates thread with more information.
 
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