Notice of Forum Change

Tim
Joined: February 13th, 2012, 10:17 pm

July 2nd, 2018, 6:12 pm #1



Notification of Offsite Forum Change

Short Version:

Spiritus will be officially moving Offsite Forums in one week's time from the date of this statement. Due to Zetaboards being sold to Tapatalk, we will be moving to ProBoards. This will not only result in avoiding the loss of numerous functionalities that Tapatalk does not have, but also will result in more overall functionalities and a better user experience as ProBoards has considerably outpaced Zetaboards in terms of overall functionality, as well as UX and UI, at this point.

Our new forum can be found at http://spiritusns.proboards.com. The spiritus.wtf URL will be set to redirect to the ProBoards once this move occurs.

All Citizens will be required to re-apply for Citizenship, though this will be purely to ensure proper record-keeping, and current Citizens will have no issue being re-accepted.

Long Version:

We, as well as every other Admin Team using Zetaboards on NS, were informed in the past months that Zetaboards had been bought out by the forum software company Tapatalk. This is nothing particularly new from Tapatalk, as they similarly did this to Invisionfree, and it was ultimately a matter of time until it happened to Zetaboards too. Unfortunately, what this acquisition by Tapatalk meant is that Zetaboards forums would be forcibly migrated over onto the Tapatalk service. In other words, this meant that the majority of NS offsite forums were being informed that they'd be forcibly merged over onto a completely new software that few of us have experience in. In addition, Tapatalk offers significantly less customization than a traditional offsite forum, and the company itself doesn't have the best reputation.

Many NS Administrative Teams contacted Zetaboards inquiring about information regarding their forums, especially if they could acquire a downloadable database of their forum should they not be interested in Tapatalk. In addition, inquiries were lodged about the fact that Tapatalk deletes forums after a certain period of inactivity, the fact that Tapatalk has a far less friendly forum suite in both overall appearance and overall function, and the fact that this was basically the first time Zetaboards had sent out an announcement in three years. Given that many offsite NS Forums are now just Archives, and even more have highly detailed and very customized CSS on their forums, the loss of customization and potential deletion of forums were especially troubling points.

Tapatalk released a reply to all these concerns, as well as all the other ones that Zetaboards users lodged, via an email in the last week. It basically ignored all of the concerns about potentially deleted boards, as well as no mention of database transfer, and instead assured users that they'd be able to retain most of their customization and that Tapatalk was providing minor increases to CSS functionality. The catch, of course, is that all this increased functionality would only be for users that are willing to pony up the funds for Tapatalk Premium.

Given that if we wanted to pay for Forums, we'd just host our own, this wasn't overly appealing. A massive downgrade in forum appearance, loss in behind-the-scenes functions, and overall downgrade from the relatively solid suite that Zetaboards provides was not something we were willing to consider. After throwing around options including Jcink, our own custom forum, and ProBoards, we settled on ProBoards. It's improved a lot in recent years, and appearance-wise is even sleeker than Zetaboards now. Once you check out our new forum, you'll be able to clearly see that. We've also been enabled with a lot more functionality for installing cool things on the forum, and a lot more customizability in terms of what we can do.

It's going to be bittersweet leaving this forum, but a migration to Tapatalk would kill so much of its personality and functionality that it wouldn't be worth having around in that state anyway. What this does unfortunately mean, though, is that Tapatalk may eventually shut down this forum for inactivity, though we'll try to keep up sporadic posting here to keep it alive as an Archive. We've already transferred a significant portion of what we deemed important to save, but if there's anything else you think is pertinent to transfer over to the new forum, please go ahead and take the opportunity to do so. I know we have a lot of things in the old Elemental Republic and Westron Realms Archives that certain users may have sentimental attachment to, so I really encourage y'all to go and save that stuff if you so desire. If you just want it for your personal memories, feel free to save as HTML, but unfortunately if you want to transfer it to the new forum it will require copying the posts one-by-one basically. Administration will try to be as helpful with this process as we can, but ultimately there's going to have to be stuff left behind.

In addition, we will be requiring all individuals to re-apply for Citizenship on the new forum. This is to avoid potential impersonation, and other strange happenings. Those individuals who are currently citizens will almost certainly not have to worry about issues with re-applying, and it should be a quick and painless process for everyone. Obviously, future citizens who will join the region down the line will now be joining it via the ProBoards forum rather than this soon-to-be-retired Zetaboards.

We're really excited for you to experience the new forums over at http://spiritusns.proboards.com, so please do come check them out and re-apply for citizenship!

Thanks Folks,

Tim
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