UtaForum 4.0: Readying to Leave Beta™

Discussion in 'News & Updates' started by Hentai, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Hentai

    Hentai Forum Theming Guy Administrator Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    For those of you keeping track in the XenForo Transition Thread we have gone through some MASSIVE changes this past long weekend. The Kickstarter funds finally cleared and we have been implementing a lot of new features. As they were all added without much fanfare I will be going over them in some detail.

    New Plug-ins Added

    Resource Manager
    This plug-in lets us manage various 'resources' including Voicebank Downloads, Tutorials, USTs, Reclists, MIDIs, and more. The plugin adds a neat way to organize content by adding version tracking, article ratings, version tracking, article "watching", and automatic discussions threads. I look forward to seeing what kind of content you submit soon. Do something good and I will "feature" it on the front page!

    Showcase
    Probably the single most anticipated feature of our XenForo transition. Much like the Wikidot and my attempt at UTAU.me earlier we finally have a formal UTAU profile system. Our previous attempt, now archived, was clunky, no one read the sticky and followed the proper template and was very time consuming as every submission was time consuming because we kept having to explain why peoples submissions were being rejected when they didn't follow the subforum's rules.

    Beyond having a forced template with a lot of required fields the new Showcase system has tags, a review system (don't even think of abusing it), and when version 2.2.0 of the add-on deploys (currently in RC1 beta phase) it will have an extremely useful filterable search. Also, if you haven't noticed it will also display UTAU and the related Voicebank Download Resources right in your profile!

    Social Share
    Improved social media integration for Facebook and Twitter. This isn't some simple "share this" button but automatic (if you want it) sharing when you post status updates, create a thread, or reply. Not only does it integrate with XenForo's core functionality but both of our other add-ons as well. You can easily share when you create an UTAU profile, post a resource, or update that voicebank download.

    There were other "social" plugins for XenForo but was the best because it is one is the only one that also worked with all our other plugins as well. Did I mention it inteigrates really well with the @UTAForum official Twitter? Our old bot was powered by RSS & Feedburner and was quite crude. This new add-on is much better. Go ahead, update your forum status and see for yourself!

    TaigaChat Pro
    We have been without a chatbox for more than a month now so I know at least a dozen of you will be happy to see this back. TaigaChat is heavily integrated with XenForo and has a ton of nifty features including displaying a minature version of your avatar next to your chat, the ability to change font colors (for certain usergroups) and additional moderation options tied to your Forum account.

    Plus Much, Much, More!
    Beyond just these paid and really obvious plug-ins over the last few days I have implemented a multitude of smaller plugins from a "friends" system, server side caching to increase performance, and custom BB code to administrative things like spam blockers and additional moderation tools.

    Permissions Changes

    Beyond bugfixes from permissions related issues we have overhauled our old (fairly) simplistic user group system to something with multiple tiers. Where before there was only one general user group "Registered" we now have 3 different ones.
    • Registered-
      Relative to the old "Registered" user group this new one has less permissions. Mainly aimed at combating SPAM and other negative behaviors some forum features (like signatures) are restricted until you make your first few posts.
    • Registered+
      As the name implies relative to the old user group this new one has much more permissions. This includes access to much of the site's new features along with some easing of some of the harsher anti-SPAM measures aimed at new registers.
    • Promoted
      Distinguished by their [Defenders of Defoko] flag members of this user group are pillars of our community. As a reward they have larger attachment limits, the ability to use different color text in the chatbox and more hidden features you all will have to discover yourselves.
    Speaking of discovering for yourself in order to prevent the system from being gamed I will not be explicitly stating how one gets into the Promoted user group. There are at least 3 different criteria (with an additional 2 planned) that will get you promoted after you achieve specific goals. Stick with us here at UtaForum and you will get this flag eventually.

    Trophy Changes

    Speaking of things that will get you promoted *hint hint* the Trophy system is undergoing a complete overhaul. Old trophies have been renamed, new trophies have been added, and even more have been planned. Keep checking back at our Trophies help page for the complete list of trophies you can earn as more are planned to be added throughout the week.

    Rule Changes

    Speaking of help pages for those of you who haven't seen them yet with a new version number comes a new Terms of Service & Rules page. You should probably read it all in detail as a lot of you weren't following the signature rules but I digress...

    The short and sweet is two new rules have been added:
    • Do Not Create Multiple Accounts
    • Do Not Attempt to Game Forum Systems
    You will not be punished for any accounts that existed before this rule so long as you continue to use only one of them going forward. Also going forward there will be a strict no tolerance for attempts to game any of our forum systems. This goes from everything from likes, resource ratings, showcase reviews, post counts, trophy points, and anything else we may add in the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
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  3. Hentai

    Hentai Forum Theming Guy Administrator Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Continued...

    New Vocaloid & Other Synth Forums

    Due to user request we have expanded the Vocaloid section from being a sub-subboard to its own fully fledged category. As not to give Vocaloid special treatment we decided to recognize all other singing synths as well.

    Each has their own News, Discussion, and Media/Content sections. UtaForum is growing, is this the kind of direction you are happy to see us expand into? Leave your comments below.

    Kickstarter & Current Funds

    For those of you who haven't seen it on the menu already I have compiled a web infographic over at our Kickstarter subdomain. First and foremost I would like to thank everyone that has contributed thus far. None of this would have been possible without all of your help. Our $200 initial goal was only enough to cover the XenForo Licence and a basic skin and it was the fundraising afterward, the stretch goals that made everything in this update possible.

    That being said we didn't quite reach all our stretch goals. I tried to cut corners where I could, buying second hand licenses to save us money ($45) and using a free skin as a base instead of a more feature filled paid one ($40). Thanks to these cost cutting measures we have approximately $50 left in our "slush fund" and as we get closer to launch we must make a decision on what to do with our remaining funds.

    We could get Xen Media Gallery, we are a bit short but we might be able to scrape together enough funds for it. Or we can get a bunch of smaller "Quality of Life" improvements like a $9 plugin to make our Alerts system smarter, a $5 plugin to improve our members listing, or maybe a feature rich base skin that we can use as a template for future vote nominated skins?

    Or... we can do something awesome. I had only discovered this plugin recently after our previous currency plugin [bd] Banking borked out on us. We could purchase Credits Premium and introduce entirely new forum mechanics which I will go over later in the next section. Before we do however I would like to go over the good and the bad right now:
    Good: We can afford the license with our current funds, it is only $45.
    Bad: The $45 license only lasts for 1 year. When the year is up renewal is another $45...
    Good: You can purchase the "lifetime" license for $90 flat rate one-time.
    Bad: We are short $40.

    Possible Credits System

    Assuming we can raise the funds I would like to propose a possible dual currency for UtaForum.
    1. UtaBucks
      You can earn UtaBucks for general forum activity. Everything from logging in, posting, recieving likes, reading threads, with additional rewards for positive community interaction.
      What good is a currency without a shop to spend it on? From here we would implement a shop system selling dumb account upgrades (username changes, title CSS styling, etc.) and vanity items.
      Last but not least you can trade your UtaBucks for "Tokens" our second forum currency.
    2. Tokens
      This plugin can be used to formally manage the "Tokens" used as part of our Skin Voting System outlined as part of our Kickstarter. Instead of me manually managing everything via Google Docs Spreadsheet we can have something formally integrating the tokens into the forum and where a lot of the processes of the voting system could be potentially automated.
      Beyond just integrating the Tokens into the forum in conjunction with the UtaBucks primary currency this plugin allows currency conversions and will add a way for members to earn Tokens outside of donating, contests, or the occasional event. Its a reliable, year round way for people to participate in the voting system and rewarding members who are active in the community.
    Tell me what you think of my Credit System dual-currency proposal. Multiple currencies are only possible with the Premium version of the plugin, a free version exists but it has severe limitations such as only 1 currency available, no access to a shop, and still a lot of manual work being required. Post your feedback below.

    Fundraising @ UtaForum HQ

    Some users expressed regret that for whatever reason they were unable to back our Kickstarter. In order to raise funds to help cover the unfilfilled KS pledges, raise money for the possible point system, and the last few plug-ins needed before launch we have decided to open the UtaForum HQ token sales once again.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This will be the last chance to earn the exclusive [K] of Honor medal and the HQ will close once we leave beta. Any contributions you make will go toward additional plugins and will help make UtaForum a better place. Please contribute what you can.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
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  4. samth1815

    samth1815 Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    Awesome!!

    I will try to donate to the HQ as soon as I can. Personally I'm really excited for the User Essentials to be implemented!
     
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  5. oteto

    oteto Tetoholic Defender of Defoko

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    Wow, so much more than I noticed!
     
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  6. Mrs.Peach

    Mrs.Peach Married Sugar Mama Global Mod Defender of Defoko

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    Utabucks, put dem bad boys to good use, itll be nice to see what will be done with them. =D
     
  7. samth1815

    samth1815 Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    I'm with peach, Utabucks sounds like a good idea.
     
  8. Scottei

    Scottei Teto's Territory Supporter

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    Eh, the Utabucks system sounds nice.
     
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  9. IrisFlower

    IrisFlower Precious Flower with Thorns Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Aaaawwww snap so that's what that Defenders of Defoko flag means okay~ /lolwowIfeelhonorednow

    First, I wanna say thanks for the Vocaloid and other synth sections that gets a big thumbs up from me! It's been said before but a lot of users at this point also have and enjoy Vocaloid, CeVio, etc(and wouldn't be here without them lol) and VO can be intimidating because of it's size so it's nice to have a spot for those here in comfy little Utaforum. Big yes on those for real so thanks for that uwu

    And second, I like the idea of the utabucks/credit system~ It makes the forum more...engaging I think is the word I'm looking for. Instead of just posting cause whatever it's a forum it adds a little something more and makes things a bit more fun, ya know? I say go for it~
     
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  10. samth1815

    samth1815 Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    Yeah, Utabucks sounds like a great idea.
     
  11. WendytheCreeper

    WendytheCreeper (>☉ ͡ヮ☉<) Defender of Defoko

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    Utabucks sounds like a fun idea, and incredibly useful if you want to change your username. Though if you plan on adding the option to change your username to the store, you should implement a certain amount of regulation to it to avoid people changing their usernames excessively on a whim(Tumblr I'm looking at you!). For example, on DeviantART you can only change your username every six months on a Premium account.
     
  12. moonst4r

    moonst4r Witch of the Night Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    UTABucks seem like a good idea, but not sure about the earning from posting part. I'm just worried people would start spamming in order to get more UTABucks.
     
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  13. samth1815

    samth1815 Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    You make a good point.

    Of course, this would go along with the new rule which deals with the gaming of forum sysems.
     
  14. DragonflySpectrum

    DragonflySpectrum Teto's Territory

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    Well if they abuse the utabucks system, there should be a warning system so that if you do something wrong, like spamming or harassment and such, you could get warned then banned to prevent that, right?
     
  15. moonst4r

    moonst4r Witch of the Night Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Hmm, yeah I guess that's true. We could always use the report button or tell a mod about it. I guess my mind just kept thinking back to the websites I was a part of that used this same point system.
     
  16. Hentai

    Hentai Forum Theming Guy Administrator Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Which would break our rules about gaming forum systems. Part of the reason the new rule was added was because we were considering adding a point system.

    That being said I am afraid SPAM or Short Pointless Annoying Messages would be pointless because points earned through posting have weight modifiers based on which forums you are posting on (some boards award 0 points, others like the help section might award more) and the length of the individual post. Short messages would yield almost nothing, but well through out messages would yield much, much more. Frankly LPAM doesn't have the same ring to it and Long Pointless Annoying Messages would be fairly obvious and would be a good way to get warned/banned.

    If you want to earn points there are much more rewarding ways to earn them. Unlocking trophies would award points, posting useful tutorials/resources may reward you with a lot of points. When (and if) implemented it will be a fairly smart system as the plugin that powers it is really advanced and would likely be worth every penny. Between the powerful plugin, competent forum staff, and our villigent community I say any would be abusers are welcome to TRY, but I doubt they would get very far.
     
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  17. Zarsla

    Zarsla ENG-JPN UTAU User Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Could someone please explaining what is meant by gaming forum posts?
     
  18. oteto

    oteto Tetoholic Defender of Defoko

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    It means "cheating" to get increased rank. Its still ok to play the forum games lol!
     
  19. samth1815

    samth1815 Ritsu's Renegades Defender of Defoko

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    Gaming forum systems basically means posting a ton of messages or spammy things or whatever simply to raise your rank.
     
  20. oteto

    oteto Tetoholic Defender of Defoko

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    Oh and making puppet accounts to like your stuff etc...
     
  21. Zarsla

    Zarsla ENG-JPN UTAU User Supporter Defender of Defoko

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    Thanx, Oteto and Samth1815.
     
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