Welcome to the new ZiiP forum. We have decided to move away from the old forum software of Vbulletin and embrace one of the new up-and-coming solutions that are available today.
So I present you, Discourse.
There are many changes that I wish to implement into the community - some will happen over time, but I figured that we needed a “home” sorting out sooner rather than later first… the rest can follow as required…
So what has changed, and what is changing?
The Discourse ‘package’ is built as an app that is mounted in a container using a program called Docker. I’m not completely au fait with Dockers - but I’ve managed to bodge it together. We could have mounted Docker on our existing server, but I have decided to place it on a separate cloud based instance at the moment. We might move it in the future, but so far I am very impressed with the setup.
This is a bit of a weird one, and I’m not sure if i’ve broken the rules of the internet in doing what I’ve done (probably have - bite me). Basically we have a new domain, www.ziipsters.com which directly holds the container containing the app. However, the DNS A records from the www.ziip.co.uk domain also has forum.ziip.co.uk pointing to the App… so that should be accessible too. More on why I’ve done this in a bit.
True Mobile Access!
Discourse offers true mobile apps for Android and iOS that link directly to the forums… meaning that you don’t have to see a dodgy web version to read topics etc.
New Permissions, Sections and Content Handling
We will be keeping our existing membership structure of Black Scorpions (free membership), Red Dragons (paid membership) and Grey Wolves (administrators) in our community. However, we will be opening the forums up to the public in more general terms to entice a greater foot-flow of people and content. For this to work, we need to keep a tighter reign on posts and content.
Previously, there were sections for each topic on the forum. Now there are categories (and sub categories) - all are viewable at the same time with the latest at the top, or you can choose to filter down to categories that you are interested in.
There is no longer “one thread per game” like there used to be. This gives a wider range of discussion points about a game/topic without it becoming one long thread. However - topic titles will be uber-important from now on and I request that the start of any topic title reflects the actual thing you are talking about. For example:
New Patch Release 0.302 <-- This is a bad title.
Rainbow 6 Siege New Patch 0.302 <-- This is a good title.
Basically, be specific.
Also note: there are no pages… threads just keep on scrolling forever. Use the sidebar to run up and down fast by date… clever huh?
Going Back To Our Roots
I’ve been thinking a lot about gaming recently and how I pretty much hate what it has become. Rainbow 6 Siege is a great example of a great game, almost ruined by the playerbase. Well, I think we should use it to our advantage. We’ve been going 15 odd years now - with core members that return daily, so we must be doing something right.
As such, I want to bring in new members as Black Scorpions or above. Ideally, I’d like them recommended by existing members - but we’re be open to anyone that we might meet on our gaming travels. I want to set the minimum age requirement however to (a flexible) 25. We’re all a bit older, sometimes wiser, generally more grumpy… and I for one want to keep it that way. We remaining with our ethos of not gaming competitively in competitions.
Gaming is about relaxing to get away from the stresses of life. We appreciate that - I’m sure there are others out there that feel the same. They should join us.
New Emoticons & Calling @ person
Just like Twitter, you can now aim conversation at a person by saying @username - they’ll receive a browser notification if they have it enabled. Additionally, there is a whole array of new emoticons to play with…
The Homepage, Chatbox and other stuff
The reason why the forum isn’t on the homepage of ziip.co.uk is because there are things I still want to develop on there. You may have noticed that there isn’t a shout/chatbox on this forum - but one is currently in development for the home page. (I’m writing it from scratch, go me). We’ll also have information on there regarding who is on TS etc etc.
The BIG thing I want to create is a means of grouping people together for games. This will involve an API that gathers members steam library details and allow you to say, via a form, “I’m free at this time, and I fancy playing X/Y/Z, who is up for it?” That way, we can play together more with a wider variety of games.
At the moment, the default theme is white. If you like the forum to look like Steam with a white text on dark grey look, then go into your settings and you’ll find an alternative theme there.
Over time, I will look to work on the look of the forum and add more features.
Right… Enough said… If I’ve missed anything, I’ll add to this as I think of it. Welcome back folks…