As you've probably already noticed, we put out an update to the central Stardock Forum system today that comes packed with fixes, plus a handful of very useful new features. Instead of letting you guess randomly at what's new and how it works, I thought I'd give everyone a quick run-down of the new features.
- Forum Announcements
- Return of the Report Button
- Go to Top of Thread Button
- The New Karma System
In the past, we've been unable to let everyone know when there's a major bit of system maintenance coming up. If it was important enough, we'd run around to all the sites and make a front page news posting about it and hoped that people would see it.
Now, we can set a broadcast message that appears at the top of ALL forum pages. We can set these on a site-by-site basis.
Clicking on the Read More link will open a message with further details (if available).
Beyond the announcements, you'll notice a bunch of new buttons on forum comments...
Return to Top Button
Every comment has this little arrow now. Clicking it will return you to the top of the page.
The report post feature returns. It is limited to logged in users only, and you must provide a detailed reason for the report. We'll know if you're spamming it, and we will hurt you if you do!
This is a completely new feature for the forums. In the past, we had the "Insightful" and "Informative" buttons, but in actuality, they didn't do anything (rather, they had once long ago, but not in the last 2+ years). So with the new forums we decided to add a real karma system. Now, you can give comments a rating if you found them particularly good or helpful.
Karma Points are shown under your user picture on the left of your posts along with your user number and online status.
See that little number? You can click on it to see a report on when you received karma, on which posts, and why people gave you the rating.
As you receive more points, the list will grow. You'll see your overall stats at the top with score and number of ratings received.
It's important to note that there is no way to rate someone DOWN. You can only give kudos to folks so it's a 100% positive system.
Here are the limitations on giving karma:
- The number of points you can assign is limited by your access level. Citizens can give +1, Apprentices +2 etc.
- You can rate the same person no faster than once every 10 minutes. Want to give Jafo a +1? See another post of his you want to give a +1? You have to wait 10min between ratings.
- You must provide a reason for your rating. It will be recorded on the reporting page. We also keep track on the back-end who gives what comments so we will find you if you're mean.
The points themselves don't DO anything yet, but there are ideas being kicked around on what we can do with these points. For now, it's a nice way to recognize people for their contributions on the forums.
So those are the major updates for the forums for April. If you have any questions, let us know!