Feedback on StrategyCore


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#1 Slaughter

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 01:03 AM

Some months ago we merged X-COM.co.uk, UFOAftermath.co.uk and S2HQ.com into one site. It's not fully done yet, but we're getting there.

After the move we've seen a decrease in forum activity however. This was the last thing we expected, and we'd like to find out why. Therefore we'd like everyone that has an opinion to provide us with feedback in this topic.

1: Do you like the new StrategyCore concept, or did you prefer the separate sites we used to have? Why?
2: Do you think the new forums are too big, or is it okay? Why?
3: If you post less than before, or not at all, what is the reason?
4: What could we do to improve StrategyCore? How?
5: Are you redirected to this site when you use x-com.co.uk and ufoaftermath.co.uk? If no, what browser do you use (including version number)
6: Anything else you'd like to comment on? Feel free to do so, as any feedback is valuable. And criticism is welcomed!


#2 Strong Bob

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 06:37 AM

1: No. I don't like the concept at all. You can't expect a good thing from just mashing everything together like this. It's lost focus and a  site thats so all encompassing usually never does very well. And that's where Strategycore seems to be going.

2: The forum is too big. They can be minimized easily, but it's a useless feature, as the minimized sections just come right back after you exit the forum. (And yes, this happens even with cookies enabled... I use cookies to remember my username and password, so I don't see why it wouldn't work for that as well.) I enjoyed it more when the fora were more focused on a certain theme, as opposed to stretching itself across so many games at once.

3: I post a lot less for reasons I've mentioned before. The board has become impersonal due to the broader range of games. It's become restrictive, as we are no longer allowed to speak of most current events. I personally like to speak in-depth conversation, ranging from politics, religion, and whatnot on message boards. I can't do that here anymore, as much as I'd love to. (Especially since this forum probably has the most broad range of international diversity of any other forum I visit, it would probably be the best place to learn a few things.) I also post less, because something certainly seems to have scared away 80% of the people I actually came to befriend here, and it is not very enticing to post on a board when most of your friends no longer post on it.

4: Keep the site the way it is, but maybe split the fora back up into each individual game group again. This would alleviate the "huge forum" syndrome. Reintroduce political discussion, but instead of keeping a tabs on the topic matter, keep tabs on the people posting. If people get out of hand, don't throw the pie out the window by locking or deleting a topic, rather just punish those involved in the inapropriate dispute via a warning or temporary/permanent ban. (I've seen topics locked on the old X-com.co.uk for some of the silliest reasons before... That seems to have stopped since then though.)

5: Nope. Firefox 1.0.4. The redirect worked way back in January and hasn't since then... And yes, I tried it on more than one computer. But both with Firefox 1.0.4.

6: I don't think the concept of mashing a bunch of games together on one board was thought out well. Besides actual game companies, or boards that follow a rather strict theme as opposed to a site owner's favorites, a forum as broad as this one is not prone to attract regulars. They're best kept small.
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#3 DoomMunky

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:18 AM

I have had no experience with the other sites, so maybe I'm not the best person to answer on this topic, but I'd just like to weigh in with my opinion on the forums issue.

First off, I've never had a problem with the sections not staying minimized. I've been using Firefox the whole time I've been here (about four or five months) and the sections I'm not interested in (X-Com and Apoc) have been minimized since I found the buttons. So there.

As for the forums themselves, I like the way they're laid out. I wish they were more like the http://www.pker.org forums that I'm used to, but once I got used to these, I've found them very easy to use. I just show up, check the fora I want to and take off.

So I think it's all well and good. I think the major reason peeps aren't hanging around much is that the games we cover have a devoted but small following that have already found the community they like to discuss the games in, and we ain't it. But that's probably a topic for another thread.

I think the forums are fine, and once I got used to them I found them easy to use and versatile enough for all sorts of posts.

Word.

#4 Stun Grenade

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 09:08 AM

First off, great idea Slaughter.


1: Do you like the new StrategyCore concept, or did you prefer the separate sites we used to have? Why?
No, not at all. Sure its relevent but the seperate sites were ideal. I don't even know what SS is. I signed up for an x-com forum, and now I get a mixture of games.

2: Do you think the new forums are too big, or is it okay? Why?
Of course they are big!! There is a SC area, x-com, etc.. and the list goes on!

3: If you post less than before, or not at all, what is the reason?
I used to post (in holidays) an average of 20posts a day. This is because I had alot of time to post and there was alot of activity on the boards. I'm currently sitting on holidays and I somtimes am lucky to post 5 times a week. Sure, I could be really active by replaying my games (which I'll do) but NO ONE ever posts in Apoc these days. Thats one example..

4: What could we do to improve StrategyCore? How?
Short term I really can't see SC doing anything to improve the situation. If you want to improve SC then you would need to go back to old ways.

Quote

Reintroduce political discussion..
Why are people interested in political discussions lol..... but anyway, if people want them, and since its in Off Topic, then let people have em!

5: Are you redirected to this site when you use x-com.co.uk and ufoaftermath.co.uk? If no, what browser do you use (including version number)
I don't use x-com.co.uk anymore. The browser I use is: Firefox 1.0.1

I really can't think of anything else to say. I just hope things work out :confused:

~SG
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#5 Pete

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:02 AM

Wow. Maybe this one big site wasn't such a good idea after all :P

Seriously though, even when the sites were separate, did any of the chaps above actually visit the site that much, or was it mainly the forums? I can see how merging them would annoy, but splitting them would be difficult at best especially since the forum software is now pay-only (read: I'd have to buy a separate license for each separate installation).

I'm not moaning or anything, I'd really like your opinions on this. I mean, if the general consensus is that 75% of the folks who remember the old versions don't like the new version, then maybe we need to look at something different. We didn;t want to force anything on anyone, we just thought it'd be easier for us to administrate everything and for you guys to jump across games if you wanted to.

This is where we could have done with some feedback about our ideas a looong time ago :D ;)

As I say, seriously though, we need to get as many people's opinions on this as possible or we can't really change anything.
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#6 Slaughter

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 06:52 PM

Indeed. Three people posting is great, but we need more to draw conclusions. Did you invite any of the "old timers" to comment guys?


#7 FullAuto

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 07:16 PM

I like it...

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#8 DoomMunky

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:35 PM

GOD you're helpful!  :P

#9 FullAuto

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:00 PM

Shut up.   :P

1.  I like the new concept.  I like the bigger community, meeting new folks in the off topic areas and calling them Communists.  It's bigger than x-com.co.uk was but it's still quite small and intimate, really.

2.  No, I don't think they're too big.  I don't have much to do with AM/AS or S2, so I just don't scroll that far down.  All the stuff I post in is in the top half, and when I DO go to S2 or AM/AS it's only a lickle roll of the scroll wheel away.

3.   I post slightly more, if anything.  Probably due to me being staff, as well as picking up Apoc and participating in off topic more.

4.  Hmm.  Don't think so.  It's pretty simple and easy to use as it is now.

5.  Yes.

6.  I think the main forum listing page could be tidied up a little, but that's just cosmetic.  Not exactly information overload, is it?  Quite well spaced, I've always thought.  I think the slump is just a cyclic thing, business will pick up again.  Don't panic.  42.  Etc.

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#10 NKF

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 09:14 AM

Slaughter, on Jul 3 2005, 01:03 PM, said:

1: Do you like the new StrategyCore concept, or did you prefer the separate sites we used to have? Why?
2: Do you think the new forums are too big, or is it okay? Why?
3: If you post less than before, or not at all, what is the reason?
4: What could we do to improve StrategyCore? How?
5: Are you redirected to this site when you use x-com.co.uk and ufoaftermath.co.uk? If no, what browser do you use (including version number)
6: Anything else you'd like to comment on? Feel free to do so, as any feedback is valuable. And criticism is welcomed!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


1. My answer the that? "Eh.". I come here for the forum aspect mainly. The interaction amuses me more than brushing up on stuff I already know (but I do quite like it as a informative resource for people we've infected....uh, introduced to the games we enjoy).

2. Again "Eh". You get used to them, although when the change first took place, I did wish that you could customise the look of the forum a bit so that you could feel at home by making it look like the older forums (for those still in the 'getting used to something new but would prefer to ease into it' phase). I did that with Windows XP when I first stated using it and swapped it out from that clashing blue-red scheme to ye olde classic windows skin, But again, you get used to it. This blue/black scheme was an immediate contrast from the orange/black theme (for the X-Com forums, at least), but if this site was paisley with tulip patterns I guess I'd settle in - after a bit of counselling. It's the company - not the looks. Actually I'm still using ye old Windows scheme - I like simple.

3. I've always responded to discussions threads that pique my interest. I'm not much of a topic starter. If there aren't any interesting discussions, I don't participate. If there are, I do. I'm rather boring, actually, but there you go.

4. Just keep up the good work and don't less us nag you to death with every little complaint we have. Just do what's right.  

5. Redirected and updated my old bookmark. Never had to be redirected since. Firefox 0.8 - have yet to update it as it's still rather a pleasing browser so far (well, except its inability to stick the right icons onto the right bookmarks - or sticking non-related icons onto sites that don't have icons - like my Strategycore bookmark has the Google logo on it) .  

6. NKF likes pies. This site doesn't smell like pie. If this site could smell like pie, I bet it would really take off! You could try asking Cheap As Free Toys how they get to make their Strong Bad action figures smell like hot cakes. That was a legitimate bit of criticism and a suggestion - albeit nonsensical.  

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#11 Pete

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 06:46 AM

I shall beign work on a pie module straight away. It might require the user to actually stuff a pie into a spare USB slot on their machine, but at least you would get that warm, pie-smell every time your computer is switched on.

(Warning: Replace pie at least once a week. StrategyCore will not be held responsible for incorrect pie installation. Choice of pie is down to the individual. We recommend apple pie. Size of pie is irrelevant. DO NOT eat pie unless it is still warm and relatively free of fuzz.)
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#12 FullAuto

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Posted 15 July 2005 - 04:58 PM

Mmm.  Pie.  No wonder my computer died.

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#13 Strong Bob

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 09:32 AM

Just the other day I tried introducing a couple of people to Strategycore. All three were X-COM fans and loved political discussion. (I mention political discussion because I informed them just recently that this place finally had one and we were allowed to talk about controversy again.)

Here were some of the comments I got from them. Some pasted directly from my Trillian logs. (With spelling and grammar fixed, by the way. Seeing as how one of these would be nigh indecipherable to most of you.)

Person #1: "Good god... This place is a total mess! I found the X-COM section but there's no place to talk about the actual games."

"Ack. I just clicked on the main forum and lost my place. Where's the politics section?" (He found it mere seconds later after figuring out that it was stuffed into "off-topic".)

Person #2: "Dude, this forum sucks. I'm on the main page and it's just so chaotic, I'm surprised it's not dead."

(After I explained to him that this was once a popular and fun place to post, that's why it is still active:) "Well the admins there should learn from their mistakes. Having sh*t all over the place isn't going to keep many people around."

Person #3: "Wow. This place is a mess. Who the hell made this, some noob?"

"God. Out of all these, there are only about a dozen resident posters. Why do they have so many sections for so few people?"


I don't agree with everything said by them, (Childish comments from person 2 do not reflect my own.) but I do see merit in some of the things said. And I figured it would be important for some of you to know what the new people come in to see.

I know, it's only three. But so far, it is three completely unanimous opinions on one thing. The forum is huge and looks like a mess. These aren't very stupid people either, in case you would attribute their inability to understand the forum due to lack of intelligence. One of them, in fact, is making me a forum herself.

I know for a fact that person 2 and 3 refused to sign up a username. The first guy might have, but I don't recall seeing a new guy around X-COM or the Firing Range, which would be the only places he would post. So that would be a total of three potential members that have been scared off by the forum design.

Maybe you should work on merging sections together? I dunno. Three games on one forum just doesn't feel right to me. I'm not even looking at the game sections anymore.
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#14 Slaughter

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 11:03 PM

Thanks for the feedback! I am a little...surprised by some of the comments though.

Quote

I found the X-COM section but there's no place to talk about the actual games.
You click "Forum" and it's right in front of you. How can we make it more apparent? And they say it's messy? What is messy about it? At the front page there's a header for each game with the relevant links underneath. How is this messy? I mean, visit GameSpot or one of the other large gaming sites and you'll find messy! If they could specify a little more that would be great.

Anyway, we're listening to the feedback here, so keep it coming!


#15 Matri

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 01:18 AM

Strong Bob, on Jul 29 2005, 05:32 PM, said:

Maybe you should work on merging sections together? I dunno. Three games on one forum just doesn't feel right to me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So do you want it merged or separated? I'm confused...
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#16 Stun Grenade

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Posted 03 August 2005 - 12:33 PM

I got a better idea
All three games combined on the front page. Links to individual forums. There. Problem solved!
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#17 Pete

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 03:20 PM

If someone wants to fork out over £100 for each installation of this forum software, I could quite easily separate it out onto three boards with one login that'd cover all the installations (this forum software has gotten that nifty now :blush:).

I'd love that solution, I really would. I don't have that much cash however, and I really don't see how people are having such a hard time. The sections are CLEARLY separated with the game's logos (plus the one I made for X-COM - yeah yeah :)) and everything is in a fairly logical place. If I make one sections tand out above the rest, then that'll take the focus off the others.

What's the solution?

Well I guess I could make the section separators even more obvious on the forum homepage with some graphics from the three game series', but that wouldn't do much to solve the situation.

Another possibility would be to have just four main forums on the forum front page which when clicked on will bring up a list of the forums under that section - so StrategyCore, X-COM, UFO and Silent Storm -  but that's just adding extra clicks. Since I put it all together, I know where everything is though, so I've no idea how easy it is for you guys :)

Admittedly, we may have to do that anyway when we add more games to the site, but would it help the situation at the moment? If so it's a matter of a few minutes work. Let me know your thoughts.
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#18 Slaughter

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 09:30 PM

Could we make forum links that have specific section open? So that the X-COM forum link opens the X-COM and StrategyCore section, and closes the others? Then people could update their bookmarks with that link.


#19 Hellb0und

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 01:08 AM

I think this forum is great the way it is now.

If you guys think this forum is too big and messy, take a look at this one
http://www.ner-clan.net/global/

It's something like 10+ forums merged into 1. Trust me, i'm an admin on that forum and i have some more sub-forums than the "normal" ones you can see there.

But it's not messy, not for me at least, i have all sub-forums collapsed by default. Everything is in it's right place, and i only go to the ones that interest me. Or i just click the "New Posts" link at the top.

On the top you have a menu, on the right click the "NER Clans" option, here you have direct links to each country division. Each with it's own colour. Maybe something like this can be done here?

#20 Stun Grenade

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 05:11 AM

I know the forums are fine the way it is but it does explain for the drop of activity/members.

Pete, why do we have to use Invision? What about phpBB? Thats free...
"The Stun Grenade can be used to stun targets within a small area for a brief time. Larger Aliens may need weakening before they can be stunned."




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