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RoW's Future: Progress Report
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RoW's Future: Progress Report



Hi everyone! It's been a while since we've given formal updates on where we're at with the site reboot, so Sarah and I wanted to give you a progress report. For much of the past month, we've been dealing with the largely technical aspects of getting the new forum set up. We've look at two different forum softwares that are more modern than the one we're currently using and determined the pros/cons between them. Unfortunately, it took us longer than we would have liked to make a decision and there is still a learning curve as we try and figure out how to implement some of the extra features we've all come to love about RoW. :)

To the extent that we can, we'll be keeping the same structure & overall design of the current site. However, there are going to be a few changes that we hope will make the site easier to use:

No More IC/OOC Forum Split
We're going to be retiring our "Enter Relic Lore"/"Return to Reality" buttons in favor of a more traditional structure where all forums (IC & OOC) are visible when you first arrive to the site. We've received a lot of feedback over the years that the IC/OOC split of the forums was a neat idea, but confusing to new members. The Library will still be separated out into its own category.

Single Account with Sub accounts for characters
This is probably the biggest change, but hopefully a welcome one! Instead of having separate accounts per character, we'll be operating under a new system where each member has a single account. Each member account than create an unlimited # of character accounts. Each of those character accounts has their own profile, so information like character details and threadlogs will be kept separate. Things like PMs & Notifications are tied to the member account, so no more forgetting to check secondary character accounts for a missed PM. Here are a few screenshots below illustrating how this works (note that this is all still a work in progress, so design details are subject to change): https://imgur.com/a/jBS1Ttq

Clubs/Groups
There's a new built-in functionality called "Clubs". These are member created & managed groups that other members can join or be invited to. Clubs have their own mini-forum structure, so club members can create & respond to topics. Why would we want this? Well, we thought this would be a great replacement to the pack common rooms, but also a replacement to the current "Studios" subforum as club owners (or studio owners) can manage their club by closing/deleting topics/etc. We'll also be using a Club to manage adoptable characters. We've had a request for this in the past and are happy to have a feature like this built in.

Points/Awards
We've been working on modifications that will make these reward systems a more automated process to reduce the amount of work for both staff and members. Basically, if you post, you get points! We're still in the process of figuring out what you can do to earn points and what to spend them on, as well as what kind of other awards (a la ribbons) you'd like to earn. To get your suggestions, we've set up a Google Doc with our current list: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BwQs_-fFl4N-w1777KCh-Jd8vgD055GFd0qc_Akc5fY/edit

Next Steps


There's still quite a lot of work to be done as we finish up the technical changes & design. But we're feeling really good about the progress that has been made. While we're focusing on the tech & design stuff, we've got a request for help.

  1. Help us figure out our rewards system. See the "Points/Awards" section above for the link to the Google Doc.
  2. Help us finalize our regions, territories, and starting subterritories. Marina has been working on a polished version of the map mockup that Pinn made us and we've divided it up into 15 territories of various kinds. We need help with names & descriptions. You can leave your comments & suggestions here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kPtsCa6qPuZeklFr67bRGFErY7Tj59JXvkY6zQjbs0I/edit
  3. We're hiring! If you're interested in helping to staff RoW, please send the @Spirit of Wildwood account a PM telling us:
    • How long you've been a member
       
    • Any staff experience you might have had (both online & off are relevant, just please explain)
       
    • Why you want to be a moderator at RoW?

At this point, we're not ready to give a concrete launch date, but we're tentatively hoping for an early May launch. We'll be providing more regular updates the closer we get and will give more details to other questions we've gotten as we can. :)
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SUPER excited! Once I’m back from my trip this weekend I’ll take a look at the documents. You guys are doing amazing! ♡
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