Any thoughts on better organization for Forum Categories & Pinned Posts?

That’s the point of pinning, after all, so when someone is looking at the category view in particular, they surface higher, which reduces duplicate threads, or missed announcements.


How are you navigating to new topics, then?


I can appreciate and share your concern, I’m just not sure that there’s much to do about it, unless you want to submit a feature request to Discourse.org to change how they handle pinned posts in the Categories view.

I’ve tried having a central thread in the past, instead of one thread per hero, but changed that a long time ago based on the feedback in I strongly dislike merged topics. My reason for that originally was actually to reduce the number of top-level threads.

Having separate ones clearly solves some issues while creating others.

But this is also a pretty ephemeral occurrence, since Avalon will end in a few days, and the posts won’t be pinned then. And other than during Seasonal Events, this is the first time there have been this many hero threads plus an event thread at the same time.


I think the best solution would probably be additional Forum categories.

#general-discussion is increasingly for popular topics like this thread, and complaint threads. It’d be helpful if there were a more natural home for topics like your new one, or of the popular topics like this one could move elsewhere.

Everything else is landing in one of the other categories, especially #gameplay-help-tactics — and the only thing typically pinned there are the Class Trials threads for 24 hours.

This is super off topic for this thread, obviously, so I’m going to move it to an new thread so we can think this through more.

EDIT: Moved to a new thread

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New sub categories for:

  • Beta Beat (topic should be closed if all features has been released as for each feature/hero a new topic is released)
  • Trials, Raid tournaments, challenge and seasonal events(all guides and people discussions about these will be in that category)
  • HoTM and Special heroes discussions and thoughts

And only Mods (we all know that @zephyr1 lovesbto do ALL of the above topics and i really apperciate all the hard work) can create topics in these sub categories
Inside them the ongoing discussions will be pinned

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This only works if you are logged in, or using cookies.

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Presumably @Duaneski was logged in at the time, but maybe it’s a cookie problem.

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Interesting.

Probably to prevent players from skipping important forum announcements.

Should go away if you just open them.

Most topics have 2 view in the first 30 seconds.

Even the Math Apocalypse ones.

Probably a staff member and @zephyr1 .

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That is odd.

Works for my account.

users can unpin a topic clicking on the pin icon

Try searching

For a solution.

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Maybe you could have different categories

Examples off the top of my head:

Hero and Levelling Advice
Challenge Events
Raiding and War Advice
Quests and Tournaments
Titan Tips and Advice
Buildings and Base

That way you go to the area you need. The current categories are named too generically. If you did this (instead of the current General Discussion and Gameplay sections) you’d have less pinned topics too, so each would be pretty specific

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I agree with all your suggestions @Infinite. Was trying to articulate my thoughts and you’d encapsulated them nicely - thank you.

I also wonder if there’s a need for a vent your spleen / rage quit thread where people can just go blah, and no one else has to read it (unless they choose to, but :man_shrugging:).

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Thank you for the feedback! I’ll be taking notes on the ideas presented on this topic so far.

Just wanted to quickly comment that having too many sub-categories might end up the forum being too cluttered. We also have tags here which could be used more. Would those be helpful?

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I don’t think many people use or understand tags. But that is just my thought, you may have better evidence from the back end diagnostics you’d probably get from the forum engine

Agree that we don’t want it too cluttered with extra subjects, but right now it is (in my view) too generic and could be sharpened up to make navigation and finding things a bit easier.

Just ideas, and I’m happy for anybody to add to or modify the subjects identified above

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I would agree that a separate category for hero discussion would at the least be needed. That tends to be a common theme in the forums and grouping them together would make them easier to find/search and clean up the general discussion category somewhat.

Is there a way to make the search function more prominent? A permanently-available search box instead of a magnifying glass in the corner that [pops up the search box might make the search function more-used. Then (in my dreamworld here) there would be a lot less thread duplication.

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I like the idea of categories. My frustration comes from doing a search for a specific thread/post that I remembered reading and not being able to find it.

That’s usually because of some creative headings, for instance …

What the Heck! vs Game Crashing Upon Opening

It doesn’t occur to me to do a search of What the Heck! :grin:

At least with more specific categories my search would be more productive. Even with the occasional duplicate posts being placed in two separate categories, I’m sure overall the threads would become more efficient and manageable.

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Because. Humans.

Having worked in library/ storage/ records since I was a teenager, I firmly believe there is no single good solution to the problem of a forum dedicated to a multiple year, MMO with IAP.

Tags

I tried to use tags initially, but there are problems

  • Tags are non intuitive on the mobile version of the forum ( I love the mobile version, but smartphones are not 20 inch monitors)
  • Popular tags become difficult to search ( edit: nope. just hidden in advanced search )
  • Tags are not uniform (multiple spelling and wording)
  • Tags are limited to 5 per topic ( most successful forum use of tags have unlimited tags and forum regulars can assign tags to other users’ posts. see not uniform above. )

Like many forum features I really like tags.

But like coding a game versus playing a game, writing tags is more work, and less fun, than using them.

(It’s Time We Talked About Tags)

Staff

More sub forums do mean more hours for staff to monitor the forums. This is a non trivial consideration.

Users

More sub forums do make the end user experience more effective for Elder forum users ( separate from Elder GAME users ).

But it makes it more challenging for new forum users.

Reference

Reference ( read only, important links, important archived copies, etc. ) would be helpful but more work for mods. Probably have to increase the number of mods ( which is always a headache).

Single most useful category. Also the single most dependent on the quality, and quantity, of mods and staff. This is not a coincidence.

This could include a “Server status” post that could be unlisted after 14 days.

Add Categories

  • Base would be helpful for all players, at all price points. Especially After Stronghold 21 made everything weird, complicated and more min/ max gameplay instead of open world gameplay.

  • Limited time would be helpful for limited time posts ( Challenge events, Atlantis Rising, Seasonal events, etc. )

  • HotM would be insanely helpful because of SGG business model

  • F2P would balance HotM and should be very strongly considered.

  • Summons would be helpful because of SGG business model.

You can see how this can quick suck as a post about Hero Academy could fall under Reference, base, summons, HotM, F2P

Maybe

  • Leveling is not as helpful as you think due to inherent design mechanisms, but insanely popular.

  • Ascension items is not as helpful as you think due to inherent design mechanisms, but insanely popular.

  • Emblems is not as helpful as you think due to inherent design mechanisms, but insanely popular.

  • Raid would be helpful since it has its own chest and heavy use of HotM.

Rant

Rant is tempting, but doing anything to a rant topic invites more rage and anger.

No good way to deal with rant posts because people ranting are already upset.

Plus trolls.

Do not add

  • Do not add. Titan less helpful because so much titan info is obscured. Do not add.
  • Do not add. War less helpful because tight coordination needed but needs of coordination often conflict with needs of game studio. Really war was an excellent idea with two fundamental flaws - communicate and logistics.
  • Do not add. Tourney suffers from all the problems of a Titan category. Do not add.

maybe combine into "Alliance activities " since only Alliances can participate if titan battles and war.

Beta Beat

Given paywalls, and merciless RNG, this is INSANELY popular.

But.

It is really just a blog

I would call it “Mod corner” and only allow mods, and staff, to create topics.

We love you @zephyr1 . You are officially not allowed to die. Please contact HR for you spirit jar kit.

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I haven’t found the tags feature to be super useful in its current state.

I tag all of my thread series, but I doubt people use them to navigate much, and I personally never use them to navigate.

I also see some pretty random tags on posts a lot of people create.

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For tags to be useful they need structure. Otherwise they’re just like hashtags on twitter. OOH what’s trending now?

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Ahhh yes, the critical, must read important forum announcements of our time:

I get to new topics by either forum searching if it’s a specific topic OR if I’m just browsing I click on the category I want to browse (general discussion, bugs, user created etc)

That’s a really good point. Makes a lotta sense. And I’m sorry if I’m just making trouble for the sake of it. Sometimes I do that way :frowning:

I appreciate you splitting this off and giving the discussion a go.

For the record: I do 100% see the value in having these new hero threads pinned. Saves people having to search. They’re threads worthy of being promoted. Saves time merging threads.

Obviously I wish this could function somewhat differently. But I know that isn’t always practical or possible.

I like this solution.

But the million dollar question: is it necessary and does it overall benefit the users of the forum?

Even tho I posed this complaint I don’t feel qualified to answer that at all.

I don’t know what a Tag is LOL

Dang it I’m such a noob :))

Totes agree. This is a tricky thing to balance.

THATS THE WORST !!! I have been there my friend. :frowning:

This happens all the time. Even when I use forum bookmarks.

I was searching for a post including a photo about @Checker 's training camps but searching any thing about training camps, or photos, is a disaster.

Maybe a category “Searching for post” that people could say "I remember this one post. need help finding "

Might catch on and cut down on duplicate topics.

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I generally surf the forums from the Categories page. Never even checked the Latest or New pages until today :rofl:. Categories shows Latest posts anyway. I will usually go from thread to thread via the suggestions at the bottom of each thread, or via notofications in my avatar pulldown menu. I just meander aimlessly unless I’m looking for something specific, then I use search (e.g. info on a specific hero or best farming for filling elemental chest).

I have bookmarked the odd thread/post, some by accident it seems.

Yes.This. So many of my posts contain “I read somewhere here that … can’t find it now”

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Another feature I’d like to see is the ability to filter certain categories from the “Latest” list (eg Alliance Recruitment)

You actually can do that if you add them to your Muted Categories.

It’s under Preferences > Categories > Muted.

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