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vBulletin and You - [SWTOR vBulletin Guide] (What Bioware left out)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
vBulletin and You - [SWTOR vBulletin Guide] (What Bioware left out)

Vandrel-Blitz's Avatar


Vandrel-Blitz
01.18.2012 , 08:48 AM | #1
vBulletin and You

A quick reference guide to using vBulletin's tools that Bioware has left out of the forum template.

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..........Table of Contents
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i.......|Overview of vBulletin
ii. .....|SWTOR vBulletin Situation
iii......|Intent of this guide
iv......|Forum Tools
v. .....|Thread Tools
vi......|Disabled Features

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_________________________________________________
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..........i...........Overview of vBulletin..........
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vBulletin (vB) is a proprietary Internet forum software produced by Jelsoft Enterprises and vBulletin Solutions, both subsidiaries of Internet Brands. It is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database server.

GENERAL FEATURES -------//
Scalable Solution - database server and web servers can reside on separate machines.
MySQL back-end database
vBulletin can be run on any machine that can support PHP and MySQL (Solaris, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac)
Written in PHP which makes for a fast and efficient product
Spoiler


Source:
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VBulletin | https://www.vbulletin.com/
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_________________________________________________
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..........ii..........SWTOR vBulletin Situation .
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It's no secret, everyone inside (and some outside) of the SWTOR community knows that the present forum layout, functionality, and stability is utterly embarrassing for a nearly release AAA rated MMO. To make matters worse for the customers, the support system is a disaster often leaving customers waiting for days and in some cases weeks for a response. The Community Support Team lacks communication and rarely interfaces with customers.

There is a number of matters plagueing the SWTOR forums presently, but one of the most pivitol talking points would generally be the lack of server forums for each and every individual server in SWTOR. Over the years of MMO history, it has become a industry standard for companies to provide server forums for their customers. Server forums aide in fostering and developing the game's community and without these forums the community is left to the wind.

With the lack of organization and community building tools, the SWTOR forums have a novelty sized gap which needs to be filled in order to carry the customer-base over the course of the game's life.

So, you might be asking yourself, "What's missing from these forums?" Well, that's a great question young Padawan (or Acolyte, whichever applies to you). Precisely what is missing from the SWTOR forums is a range of key tools which makes vBulletin worth it's weight in comparison to it's competitors. As noted in section (i.), vBulletin carries an extensive variety of capabilities, by default. It's like the party pack of forum software where you get 2 for the price of one.

What's currently missing from the SWTOR forum template, which was created by Bioware, is a number of tools which make viewing and using the forums much more user friendly.

So, you might be asking yourself, "Why are these items and features missing and/or disabled?" Well, another great question. The simple answer would be, given Bioware's track record since launch, it appears there's a severe lack of communications and expertise within Bioware's inner circle of staff. Countless poor decisions have been made, toppled with horrible customer interface, all bundled inside a shotty unstable forum package. Official statements from the staff have raised a lot of eyebrows and left people wondering "*** are you guys thinking?!".
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..........iii.........Intent of this guide...............
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This guide will detail several key items left out of the SWTOR vBulletin template. Most of the items listed in this guide are quite helpful in navigating the forums and also keeping things neat and tidy by mitigating the hoops you must jump through to locate valuable information. The less you as a customer have to do, the happier you will be, thus increasing customer satisfaction ratings for Bioware.

The SWTOR community can only hope Bioware takes the time to read this thread and potentially include, fix, and/or enable key items listed.
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_________________________________________________
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..........iv..........Forum Tools................................
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As noted above, vBulletin offers a strong set of tools that makes your life easier. A number of these tools have been left out of the SWTOR template, either intentionally or unintenionally (only Bioware knows). But don't sweat it, with this guide you are covered.

View new posts since last visit - http://www.swtor.com/community/search.php?do=getnew
..........# This feature is really handy for folks who visit the forums religiously and want to keep tabs on a handful of hot
..........topics. In a forum this large this tool can be a little messy for the average user but it can be handy.
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View today's new posts - http://www.swtor.com/community/search.php?do=getdaily
..........# This feature is much like "getnew" but will only yeild a output of "today's" posts. If you have not visited the
..........forums for several days and don't want to be bothered with posts from several days ago then this
..........would be the ideal tool for you.
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Enable Forum Tool - http://www.swtor.com/community/forum...oto_forumtools
..........# This feature is probably one of the best things that's missing. This will open up the tools for forum
..........sections. Included are tools for
.............- Mark This Forum Read
.............- Subscribe to This Forum
.............- View Parent Forum
.............- Search this Forum
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..........# There is however a catch to this. In order to use this for a specific forum you have to enter the forum
..........number. Each forum section has a unique number.
..........So, for example: English Community Forum - http://www.swtor.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=88
..........The forum number (or ID) is #88.
..........To enable forum tools for that section we would have to do:
..........http://www.swtor.com/community/forum...oto_forumtools
..........Note that the f=## was changed to reflect the correct forum number/ID.
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..........# Forum Searching is handy for obvious reasons and will tremendously mitigate the amount of clicking
..........and scrolling you have to do in order to pin point material and content relivent or of interest to you.
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Send Bioware a Messsage - http://www.swtor.com/community/sendmessage.php
..........# This is nothing super special, however it can be helpful if you wish to send a direct email to Bioware
..........that will get viewed by whoever is listed as the Administrator/Site POC (point of contact).
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_________________________________________________
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..........v...........Thread Tools...............................
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Much like the thread tools, there are forum tools which have quite similar options.

Enable Thread Tool - http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...to_threadtools
..........# This feature is just like the thread tools and is one of the best things that's missing. This will open
.............up the tools for thread:
.............- Show Printable Version
.............- Email this Page
.............- Subscribe to this Thread
.............- Search this Thread
.............- Rate This Thread
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..........# There is a catch to his as well. In order to use this for a specific thread you have to enter the
..........thread number. Each thread has a unique number.
..........So, for example: Forum Changes Coming! - http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=173672
..........The thread number (or ID) is #173672. To enable thread tools for that thread we would have to do:
..........http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...to_threadtools | Note that the t=## was changed to reflect
..........the correct thread number/ID.
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..........# One item in thread tools that makes vBulletin life super easy is "Subscribe to this Thread". This feature
..........pulls up your saved threads that you are "watching" and can be found at:
..........http://www.swtor.com/community/subsc...ewsubscription . This allows you to tag
..........a specific thread for you to keep tabs on for any updates.
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..........# Thread Searching is handy for obvious reasons and will tremendously mitigate the amount of clicking
..........and scrolling you have to do in order to pin point material and content relivent or of interest to you
..........in a large post (such as this).
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..........vi..........Disabled Features.................
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Here we will highlight a "few" of the things that are missing, disabled, or we as "users" don't have
permissions enabled for.

Members List - http://skylineownersusa.com/forums/memberlist.php
..........# There's surely a number of reasons as to why this is not viewable to regular users here, yet the functionality
..........of it is helpful. The Members List can be customized, custom fields can be added to user's profiles
..........(server, etc.) and then be displayed on the list. This feature would be great for searching for people
..........from your server or a variety of common interests, if implimented properly.
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Mark Forums as Read - http://www.swtor.com/community/forum...=markread&f=37
..........# This feature simply does not work here. For whatever reason it's broken and the option is missing from
..........the default layout.Having access to this is huge. If you want to make all forums as read and then only pay
..........attention to the new threads/posts then this allows for thatyet it seems, again, that Bioware lacks to expertise
..........to even have thought about this feature.
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This thread is a work in progress and will be updated continuously.
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Electric Mayhem (click for more details)
SWTOR - The Shadowlands - US East - PVE - Empire Guild

Vandrel-Blitz's Avatar


Vandrel-Blitz
01.18.2012 , 08:49 AM | #2
place holder
Electric Mayhem (click for more details)
SWTOR - The Shadowlands - US East - PVE - Empire Guild

Schnerf's Avatar


Schnerf
01.18.2012 , 08:50 AM | #3
Yo for real, nobody is gonna read that.

But hey, good job.

Zandog's Avatar


Zandog
01.18.2012 , 08:52 AM | #4
Oh Hell Ya. Bookmarked.
Guild Officer: Stoned (http://teamstm.ca) 25+ DAILY Active Members, 60+ Total Members
Server: East/Juyo
Dirac | SI Sorcerer & Zandog | BH Mercenary

SithIceberg's Avatar


SithIceberg
01.18.2012 , 08:52 AM | #5
Is there a reason for posting this other than taking up space? What is the discussion here about Vbulletin and the SWTOR forums?

Maelstrom
Established Guild / PvE / PvP
Recruitment Video | Website | Forums | YouTube Channel | Recruitment Post

Vandrel-Blitz's Avatar


Vandrel-Blitz
01.18.2012 , 08:54 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by SithIceberg View Post
Is there a reason for posting this other than taking up space? What is the discussion here about Vbulletin and the SWTOR forums?
You could easily navigate to the section called "Intent of this guide"

Electric Mayhem (click for more details)
SWTOR - The Shadowlands - US East - PVE - Empire Guild

Sivri's Avatar


Sivri
01.18.2012 , 09:02 AM | #7
Very nice guide Hopefully Bioware will consider implementing some of these things on the forum. The forum is quite "lacking" in the sense that it's not as effective as it could be. Sure, one can post and such - the "vital" things are alright, but then it ends there.

And what is up with the extremely long routes to various sub-forums? Like if you were looking for a guild. If anything they ought to know that when people finally -do- decide to go on the forum, they don't want to spend half a day (exaggerated, yes) to get into a section. Sure it could be solved with a bookmark, but it really isn't user friendly - especially not for people who aren't exactly used to forums, and a thing like the guild posts is something I reckon is pretty important that people can get to easily as it is a larger part of the game.
Leader of The Clandestine Community - The Clandestine Recruitment
Siara - Republic Human - The Progenitor
For profit and freedom

Vandrel-Blitz's Avatar


Vandrel-Blitz
01.18.2012 , 09:38 AM | #8
We can only hope that they listen, though their track record thus far says otherwise.


I would also like to point out what I noted in their forum changes thread:

Originally posted: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=3500

Official Solution: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=173672

Quote: Originally Posted by Vandrel-Blitz View Post
However (comma)

I seemed to have found their super secret bat cave full of plans for the server forums. Are you ready to have your mind blown?



Forum Section: (Community) - links to
http://www.swtor.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=88 (Forum section #88)

Digging further through Bioware's forum layout I have found the following:

http://www.swtor.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=294

ranging to

http://www.swtor.com/community/forumdisplay.php?f=369

Are hidden forum sections that are active but no one (but Bioware) currently has access to view. This tells us that:

There's a total of 75 "new" forum sections that have been created here. Now, let's do the math shall we?

215 servers
75 server forum sections
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3 servers per forum section



So, this tells us that Bioware has ALREADY created the forum sections for server forum GROUPS and that there will be 75 of them with 3 servers to a group.

Everyone get ready to see 3 servers to a group and have your fun meter pegged.


This is just a prime example of how well Bioware listens
Electric Mayhem (click for more details)
SWTOR - The Shadowlands - US East - PVE - Empire Guild

Vandrel-Blitz's Avatar


Vandrel-Blitz
01.18.2012 , 09:45 AM | #9
Also, it was just noticed and reported that the search function is (once again), gone.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=1781344

Their web guys must have been making some changes durng the "maintainance" period.
Electric Mayhem (click for more details)
SWTOR - The Shadowlands - US East - PVE - Empire Guild

Emily_Mc's Avatar


Emily_Mc
01.18.2012 , 09:49 AM | #10
O.o

Good info here!