Introducing the EVE Gate Forum
Hi, I'm CCP Alice. I'm working with Team Occam's Razor, and we are responsible for bringing a new feature-rich forum to EVE Gate as part of the Incursion expansion.
TL:DR Graphical representation of the forum upgrade:
Our aim is to further embrace and empower the existing social network in EVE Online, and moving our beloved forum to EVE Gate has given us the opportunity to bring about vast improvements in this area for our players. We believe strongly that our players deserve a forum experience that is stylish, intuitive and easy to use.
The EVE Gate forum features:
A simple and sleek landing page to help you get to where you need to go, as fast as you need to get there. It has the forum categories and their channels, including information such as last post timestamp and link, new post indicator, all the usual.
Front page (Click to view full version)
When you go into a channel, you'll see what you were used to seeing in the old forums - stickies at the top, followed by the player created threads and relevant information for each thread. Threads with DEV or GM posts are highlighted by a colored badge.
Channel View (Click to view full version)
Once you go into a thread, it's all fairly straight forward. Each post shows the avatar picture, name, corporation and alliance information (if set to visible). In addition, to the usual options, we have also included two new features:
DEV, GM, CSM, ISD and External Partner characters will have a colored badge overlay on their avatar.
For the ever busy amongst you, we have included a Quick Reply that will allow you to post a reply to a thread without loading a reply page with full formatting options.
Thread View (Click to view full version)
So, there are a few things you'll have noticed in the images that I haven't mentioned so far:
Each post has a Like button. This allows you to Like a post which is pretty self-explanatory! Once a post has been Liked, you'll see a running total of Likes received and also an option to Unlike if you change your mind. Underneath each poster's avatar there is a running total of the number of Likes they gave to posts and the number of Likes they have received for their posts. In the channel view you can see the total number of Likes for each thread, quickly highlighting hot topics.
Each post has a Share option, so you can share it to a social networking site of your choice outside of EVE Gate. So now you can finally tro.. err, let the world know about your 1337 posting skillz!
On the front page, in channel view and within threads, basically on every page - there is a link at the bottom of the page to subscribe to an RSS Feed for that page.
Did I just say that?
Yup, that's right, an RSS feed for every channel and for every thread within each channel. This will make it much easier for you to follow what's going on in the forums by receiving updates in your favorite RSS reader application.
Each thread has an option to "Tag as Favorite", adding it to your Favorites page where you can easily find it again and quickly spot any new activity.
Admittedly, the old forum search function was not up to modern standards. It is our hope however, that the search function of the new forum will be a giant leap forward. Advanced search options currently include search by character, topic name, channels and DEV/GM posts.
What's that I hear you say.. you want moar? Well aren't you a demanding bunch!
Okay. Okay. Fine. Would you like to be able to bookmark your search criteria for later? DONE.
Still not enough? Would you also like to be able to subscribe to an RSS Feed of your search criteria? DONE.
Oh and by the way, this is just the beginning. We have plenty of ideas we want to explore for search further down the road.
Search, with advanced search options open
And now for some practical information:
Forum settings will be in your EVE Gate profile settings page with the usual options for toggling images, corporation/alliance information and your signature.
The old forum will remain on eveonline.com in an archived state for read only reference and won't be ported to the new forum. This was a technical decision and besides, we are all happy to start with a nice, clean slate on our awesome new forum. Now it just remains to be seen who will get that coveted /first post.
We still have a lot of work remaining before we launch the forum on EVE Gate, as we want to launch with a solidly working, polished product. Before we commit to a final design and implementation, we want to get your feedback. To that end, we are going to put the new forum technology up on Singularity first and have you begin evaluating it next week.
Stay tuned for announcements regarding testing of the new forum on Singularity and thank you in advance for your input and help.
Race you to that first post when we launch the new forums on EVE Gate! :p
-CCP Alice & Team Occam's Razor