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We can have (mostly) working badges!

Arnox

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With a major caveat and a minor caveat. They can't be awarded automatically via a quiz system, and they can't be reordered on your profile. (They will always be sorted alphabetically.)

So guys, is this acceptable? Or should we just leave it be? By the way, badge size and the size of the user profile block shown with each post can all be modified, so that's not a problem.

EDIT: We may not be able to get the quiz system back without paying someone to write it, but I have just thought of a way to automatically award badges on demand.
 
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Houseman

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Yours look ugly, but I guess it depends on the color scheme and also the image itself.
We don't need no stinkin' badges!
 

Arnox

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Yours look ugly, but I guess it depends on the color scheme and also the image itself.
We don't need no stinkin' badges!
Not sure why you'd say they look ugly as they're in the exact same display format as on the v1 Escapist. lol Unless you're referring to the images themselves, to which I'd say it doesn't matter as they're test images and can be whatever the hell I want them to be.

Still don't want them?
 

Houseman

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Not sure why you'd say they look ugly as they're in the exact same display format as on the v1 Escapist. lol Unless you're referring to the images themselves, to which I'd say it doesn't matter as they're test images and can be whatever the hell I want them to be.
Yeah, I think it's just the specific images and how they clash with the theme I have on, that make them look ugly.

Also, the spacing. In v1, there was no spacing in-between buttons. Or maybe that's only if you have more than 5, they get squished together? In that case, most everyone had more than 5, so you almost never saw spacing between badges.

But I don't care. I don't think they make the forums "more fun" or anything.
 

Arnox

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Yeah, I think it's just the specific images and how they clash with the theme I have on, that make them look ugly.

Also, the spacing. In v1, there was no spacing in-between buttons.
Whoops. I forgot to say, the individual styles all have to be updated with the badge formatting I put in. So, just for now, only Night Mode has the correct badge formatting. Switch to that really quickly and you'll see that the format is exactly the same to the v1 Escapist style. Even the icon size. If enough people want the badges, I'll update the rest of the styles with the correct formatting.

As an aside, I didn't know anyone used anything other than the default Night Mode. Makes me happy. ;_; Although, with that said, Night Mode overall does seem to look the best, or at least it does in my arrogant opinion, although I really do love all of them for different reasons. So yeah, it makes sense that most people stick with Night Mode.

What are the badges even for?
Back during the old Escapist days, they had these awards called badges. You got them mainly through doing the millions of quizzes on the site, although there were many other ways to get them as well. So for example, if you did a quiz that was like, "Which generic FPS protagonist are you?", and you got the "Master Chef" result, you'd get a badge of that result that you could show on your profile if you so desired. You could have a maximum of five displayed. Here's a quick page that you can see with them in action.

Badges were great since they offered another way to personalize your profile and also show off some community achievements you had as well. Some even had easter eggs to them where if you clicked them, they'd fuck around with the site view temporarily in some way. Ever since Escapist v1 died though, they were never seen again. Until now. It was one of those things you never really appreciated until they were gone.
 
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Vendor-Lazarus

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Nah, I don't think we don't need badges really.

(Also, I'm using Sapphire, not Nightmode, and they look sort of okay here.)
 

Drathnoxis

I always had them set to 'off' in my profile settings. Just unnecessary clutter under the avatar.
 

Houseman

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Whoops. I forgot to say, the individual styles all have to be updated with the badge formatting I put in. So, just for now, only Night Mode has the correct badge formatting. Switch to that really quickly and you'll see that the format is exactly the same to the v1 Escapist style. Even the icon size. If enough people want the badges, I'll update the rest of the styles with the correct formatting.
Oh yeah, looks nicer that way.
I use Sanc v1.0

But do you wanna follow in the Escapists' footsteps and imitate them? Why not blaze your own trail!
 

bluegate

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What are the badges even for?
Primarily speaking their function would be to boost user engagement on the website.

But on a site this small with a handful of users, don't think it'll be much of an effective tool 🤷‍♂️.

As for the topic, don't bother to imitate a system if you're doing it through off the shelve plugins that will only result in creating something that looks sort of similar, but ultimately can't be because of the limits of existing plugins.

No one likes Frankensteining, unless you own a WordPress site 🤢

Also, it might be healthier to stop trying to model and identify this site as a site that _can_ sort of do things that another has-been forum can not.

 
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Arnox

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Oh yeah, looks nicer that way.
I use Sanc v1.0

But do you wanna follow in the Escapists' footsteps and imitate them? Why not blaze your own trail!
No one likes Frankensteining, unless you own a WordPress site 🤢

Also, it might be healthier to stop prying to model and identify this site as a site that _can_ sort of do things that another has-been forum can not.
We have been and are blazing our own trail. XD We've been doing it for over three years now. There is currently no other site like us.

None.

If there were, I would have happily just pointed everyone to that site, but it doesn't exist. And who we are now is exactly who we should be. Coming back to the badges now, you guys are saying that the implementation still isn't adequate enough, but if it was fully feature complete, would you all still not want it? It is derivative of the Escapist, yes, but then again, our entire MO is pulled almost straight from TOTSE. Having a site with freedom of speech within reasonable limits at its absolute core is not my own original idea. But it's still a very damn good idea that more sites need to have as their main focus.

"Alright, but that's a core philosophy," you might say, "not a peripheral community feature." Well... The way I see this at least is a lot like game design. If other sites did something well in the past, we should learn from that and use those same concepts on our site, generally speaking. Now of course, not everything applies to us, but in this case with the badges, I don't really see a reason why we shouldn't implement them. I should say, I wouldn't even have asked if I couldn't at least get the badges close to how they were on the Escapist. and back then, there was no badge system available that was adequate enough to serve as a replacement, so I simply let it be for a while. It is true that this is still a bit of a compromised solution and not the full thing. But I do feel that they are close enough and still allow for a lot of possibilities as they are.

At the end of the day, if you guys say you don't want them, that's fine. We'll let them go. But I do want to make sure that we're dismissing these for the right reason. And also, it does bring to mind the classic question we've asked ourselves before many, MANY times in the past. If you don't want to see this, then what DO you guys want to see?
 

gaijinkaiju

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I'm indifferent to them. If we have them, cool. If not, oh well
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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I see I made a double don't typo in my post..too late to correct it..
I'm also indifferent, leaning towards no.

What I would want though, is a list of the "best" free speech and privacy sites and programs.
Mainly social media, but also programs.
Maybe also listing stuff that is thought to be about free speech and privacy, but isn't really.
 

Arnox

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What I would want though, is a list of the "best" free speech and privacy sites and programs.
Mainly social media, but also programs.
Maybe also listing stuff that is thought to be about free speech and privacy, but isn't really.
Sadly, I think it'd be a very small list. Also, my standards are pretty high.

Alright, badges have been disabled for now since they were met with a giant meh. Maybe I'll bring the topic back up though if we get more users.
 

gaijinkaiju

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If you did want to implement them now, you could use them for stuff like admin,mod, post count, server maintainer etc. and just hold off on quizzes or the like for a later point
 

bluegate

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Sadly, I think it'd be a very small list. Also, my standards are pretty high.

Alright, badges have been disabled for now since they were met with a giant meh. Maybe I'll bring the topic back up though if we get more users.
Part of what made them fun to interact with for users was the fact that there were a ton of them and the ability to order them, allowing people to customise the look on their posts.

Little personalisations like that and having lots of stuff to do on a site can go a long way.

The badge system should be something that's actively maintained, with new ones added on the regular lest the system get boring and stale.

So beware what you sign up for.
 

Arnox

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If you did want to implement them now, you could use them for stuff like admin,mod, post count, server maintainer etc. and just hold off on quizzes or the like for a later point
Well, that's not really what their role is. The title plates just below the post ranking/custom title are to signify what significant usergroups (you can find the current list of them here) a user is a part of, and they work very very well in that regard. Badges on the other hand are for user achievements and personalization. But yes, there are title plates though that would definitely get converted to a badge. Most notably "Sanctuary legend", "Sanctuary contributor", and "UT2004 champion".

Part of what made them fun to interact with for users was the fact that there were a ton of them and the ability to order them, allowing people to customise the look on their posts.

Little personalisations like that and having lots of stuff to do on a site can go a long way.

The badge system should be something that's actively maintained, with new ones added on the regular lest the system get boring and stale.

So beware what you sign up for.
Quantity would generally not be an issue. They're actually pretty easy to make. But yeah, not being able to precisely order them is a bummer.

And yes, I do need to watch out for what I take on because this is a solo act and I already have to wear around six different hats.
 

bluegate

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Quantity would generally not be an issue. They're actually pretty easy to make.
Well yeah, it's easy to take pictures from Google Image Search and squashing them in little 40x40 or whatever boxes.

But coming up with fun, varying and potentially meaningful ways of getting them is the part that takes more effort and time.

There are a portion that can be given away for X number of posts, or X number of days registered, but those are the lowest tier badges that no one would care about.

Then there are, for example, badges that could be won through quizzes. These would be a step up on the entertainment and engagement ladder, but one would want the quizzes to be fun, original and not see-through so that takes some effort.

Higher up on the ladder would be badges earned by participating in special events or some other stuff, like some forum-halloween game, christmas event, whatever event. These badges would accrue value because of the site and community history.

And then maybe just stuff earned because the tech team was bored and did something stupid like make a red button for people to click on.
 

Arnox

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Well yeah, it's easy to take pictures from Google Image Search and squashing them in little 40x40 or whatever boxes.

But coming up with fun, varying and potentially meaningful ways of getting them is the part that takes more effort and time.

There are a portion that can be given away for X number of posts, or X number of days registered, but those are the lowest tier badges that no one would care about.

Then there are, for example, badges that could be won through quizzes. These would be a step up on the entertainment and engagement ladder, but one would want the quizzes to be fun, original and not see-through so that takes some effort.

Higher up on the ladder would be badges earned by participating in special events or some other stuff, like some forum-halloween game, christmas event, whatever event. These badges would accrue value because of the site and community history.

And then maybe just stuff earned because the tech team was bored and did something stupid like make a red button for people to click on.
As said before though, there is sadly no quiz system in XF and there are (weirdly enough) no quiz add-ons for XF 2.x either.

Which leads me to the one issue with XF, and that is that the main dev team moves at a very slow but steady pace when it comes to introducing anything new. Which totally makes sense, and I'd probably run it the same as well. They want everything that XF ships with to work flawlessly. But all the same, this does mean that we can easily go a pretty long time without seeing any meaningful additions to the software.
 

bluegate

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As said before though, there is sadly no quiz system in XF and there are (weirdly enough) no quiz add-ons for XF 2.x either.

Which leads me to the one issue with XF, and that is that the main dev team moves at a very slow but steady pace when it comes to introducing anything new. Which totally makes sense, and I'd probably run it the same as well. They want everything that XF ships with to work flawlessly. But all the same, this does mean that we can easily go a pretty long time without seeing any meaningful additions to the software.
Doesn't help that development resources of their forum are locked behind their rather expensive license 🤷‍♂️
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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