If you could restructure this forum, how would you do it?

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  • If you could restructure this forum, how would you do it?

    The creation on the 9th Age 2.0 main rules took roughly 3 mad years of play-testing. During this time, 16 army books, the magic department and the main underwent very frequent changes. The fanatic staff and active players made this into a devastating success. Finally the hard call was made to set the main rules (and slim army books) in stone, the allow the dust to settle, and communities to stabilize and grow. A great call; more then once I heard people around me say they are getting back into 9th Age cause the rules are stable. 9th Age left the Beta phase and has entered the stable phase.

    The last three years this forum has grown to cater as much topics as possible. As a result is a ultimate resource to cater 9th Age in it's Beta phase. As we left the Beta phase, we might want to explore different sections.

    Please see the current forum structure below.

    Display Spoiler

    Spotlight
    • Announcements. Announcements by the Head of Rules Teams, but purely limited to rules-updates. Discuss: shouldn't announcements be broader then pure rules updates? What do you think should be included?
    • Company Showcase. A section where all companies can post, but players can post as well. Discuss: doesn't player input cloud company showcases and shouldn't we keep this clean, so players can find new mini's more easy? And what else? Should staff post new miniatures projects they find online here?
    • Paintjob Showcase. A section where people can show off paint jobs. Not used allot, very few topics. Is this a valuable section? Is it worth being in the Spotlight?
    The 9th Age
    • General Discussion
      • Pinned Golden Sword This is true Hobby Corner material
      • Pinned Ask Smith! This is true Tactics material
      • Pinned Error Reports
      • Pinned Quick Starter Premade Army Lists Playtesting This is specialist Test Phase stuff
      • Pinned Links to T9A content creators
    • Quick Starter Edition
    • Rules Questions & Answers
    • Suggestions
    • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback
    • Background & Stories
    • Supporters Corner
    • Website Helpdesk
    The Hobby Hub
    • For Beginners
    • Tournaments
    • Battle Reports
    • Homebrew 9th Age
    • Painting and Modelling Discussion
    • Users Blogs
    • Players Search
    • Marketplace
    Tactics ooof this takes up much space
    • (ALL ARMIES) Tactics
    • Links to (ALL ARMIES) List Building
    Armies
    • (ALL ARMIES) Sections
    • (ALL ARMIES) Archive
      • Miniatures
      • Tactics
      • List Building
      • Link to External Army Forum(s)
      • (MANY ERROR / BALANCE / RECRUITING PINNED POSTS)
    National Forums
    • (NATIONAL FORUMS)
    Off Topic
    • Other Games
    • WWW Topics
    • Rumors & Hobby News


    Quick Preliminary Re-arrangement - also for discussion purposes.
    Display Spoiler


    Spotlight
    • Announcements. Make the Announcements broader and more interesting, by adding a timeline of running projects, which AB in under construction, which AB is currently in Beta testing phase, and which use the slim stable version, and on background. Expand!
    • Rumors & Hobby News. Brought this in from down below. In a stable phase, this topic should be right up here and spark discussing, share new products, models, events, etc. Main driver for new things
    • Company Showcase. A section where all companies can post, but players can post as well. Discuss: doesn't player input cloud company showcases and shouldn't we keep this clean, so players can find new mini's more easy? And what else? Should staff post new miniatures projects they find online here?
    • Paintjob Showcase. A section where people can show off paint jobs. Not used allot, very few topics. Is this a valuable section? Is it worth being in the Spotlight?
    The 9th Age Main Section
    • About The 9th Age (new, link info about the 9th Age here)
    • For Beginners (imported from The Hobby Hub. This should be up here for obvious reasons)
      • Beginners Tutorials Video's, Reports, Instructions for beginners
      • Quick Starter Edition (As this is one of of getting to learn how to play 9th Age, this should be in the Beginners section)
    • [lexicon]General[/lexicon] Discussion the main [lexicon]general[/lexicon] section
      • Pinned Golden Sword
      • Pinned Error Reports
      • Pinned Quick Starter Premade Army Lists Playtesting
      • Pinned Links to T9A content creators
    • [lexicon]General[/lexicon] Tactics
      • (ONE SECTION PER GAME PHASE)
      • Ask Smith! (brought in from General, but unpin this!)
    • Rules Questions & Answers
    • Supporters Corner Army / List Building Tools
    • Official Background (links that help find Official Background, so links to the army book and scrolls)
    Tactics Removed, takes to much space, merge with Army section
    • (ALL ARMIES) Tactics
    • Links to (ALL ARMIES) List Building
    Into The Hobby Hub added "Into"
    • Tournaments
    • Gaming Events, Conventions and more new! a section people can pinpoint interesting event to go to, to host a table or bring the hobby. So many wargaming events out there that are awesome. Chance to take part.
    • Battle Reports 9th Age Video Reports, Podcasts and more
    • Homebrew 9th Age
    • Golden Sword Competition brought in from above added "Competition"
    • The Workbench: Painting and Modelling Discussion (added "The Workbench")
    • Users Hobby Blogs Added "Hobby"
    • Grow the Hobby new! a section dedicated to help grow the hobby. So many great topics on this. A place to concentrate all that great input. Vital for growth.
    • Find other Players Search Added "find other"
    • National Forums brought in from below
    • Marketplace: Buy & Sell added "buy & sell"
    • Homebrew: Projects by the Community
    The 9th Age Development Section New! To pull all the scattered "improvement etc" thread and focus.
    • General Rules
      • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback (Moved here from The 9th Age, added "General Rules")

      • Suggestions (Moved here from The 9th Age)
    • Beta Testing (ALL ARMIES THAT ARE IN BETA PHASE)
      • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback (Moved here from The 9th Age, added "General Rules")
      • Suggestions (Moved here from The 9th Age)
    • Stable 2.0 Armies (ALL ARMIES)
      • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback
      • Suggestions (Moved here from The 9th Age)
    The Armies of The 9th Age added "The .... of The 9th Age"
    • (ALL ARMIES) Sections
    • (ALL ARMIES) Archive
      • Miniatures
      • Tactics
      • List Building
      • Battle Report & Campaign New! A place to spark the hobby
      • Link to External Army Forum(s)
      • (MANY ERROR / BALANCE / RECRUITING PINNED POSTS)
    Off Related Topics added "related", as "off" sounds needlessly negative
    • Other Games
    • WWW Topics
    • Website Helpdesk
    • Rumors & Hobby News move up!


    Clean Quick Preliminary Re-arrangement - also for discussion purposes.

    Display Spoiler

    Spotlight
    • Announcements
    • Rumors & Hobby News
    • Company Showcase
    The 9th Age Main Section
    • About The 9th Age new
    • For Beginners
      • Beginners Tutorials
      • Quick Starter Edition
    • [lexicon]General[/lexicon] Discussion
    • [lexicon]General[/lexicon] Tactics
      • (ONE SECTION PER GAME PHASE)
      • Ask Smith! (brought in from General), etc, etc
    • Rules Questions & Answers
    • Army / List Building Tools
    • Official Background
    Into The Hobby
    • Tournaments
    • Gaming Events, Conventions and more
    • 9th Age Video Reports, Podcasts and more
    • Golden Sword Competition
    • The Workbench: Painting and Modelling
    • Users Hobby Blogs
    • Growing the Hobby new
    • Find Other Players
    • National Forums
    • Marketplace: Buy & Sell
    • Homebrew: Projects by the Community
    The Armies of The 9th Age
    • (ALL ARMIES) Sections
      • Archive
      • Miniatures
      • Tactics
      • List Building
      • Battle Report & Campaign New
    The 9th Age Development Section New
    • General Rules
      • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback
      • Suggestions
    • Beta Testing (ALL ARMIES THAT ARE IN BETA PHASE)
      • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback
      • Suggestions
    • Stable 2.0 Armies (ALL ARMIES NOT IN BETA)
      • Playtesting and Gamebased Feedback
      • Suggestions
    Related Topics
    • Other Games
    • WWW Topics
    • Website Helpdesk
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

    The post was edited 18 times, last by Pellegrim ().

  • So, cleaned up some typo's from the OP, added a clean new proposal for the main structure in the original post.

    Mainly, I suggested to re-arrange some sections, and create "9th Age Development Section", so the forum can finally make a separation between people talking about the stable rules and the actual hobby, and people that want to provide feedback to the current rules. This also allows moderators to keep it clean and/or move topics.

    @tiny @Chack @Blonde Beer
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Pellegrim ().

  • Forum Structure

    Nice structure proposal!

    I'm not sure moving Homebrew (a.k.a. open development of background etc. proposals) down to the bottom of the forum is a good thing. Keeping it with the creative stuff in the hobby section (or at least in the upper sections of the forum list) is more encouraging: We should wish to see people tinker away at proposing new content for T9A and flesh out their proposals with background brainstorming as can be seen in e.g. the Taphrian endeavours spearheaded by @Ghiznuk and @Calisson. These, and many other projects in Homebrew, are multiple fertile creative projects diving into background concepts and armylist building. We should want to see more of this kind of freewheeling community creativity, and moving it down to the same miscellaneous section as "Other Games" and "WWW Topics" would make it more obscure and look like less of an encouragement to get creative. That Homebrew by design do not have an official stamp isn't part of the aim; the aim should be to encourage creativity, and thus get more concepts for T9A's official team to selectively harvest and make use of to craft one hell of a fantasy world, more rich than anything seen before. :)

    Having one or more dedicated Tutorial sections (example from DakkaDakka) is an absolute must to make the hobby hub into a resource library. Either one for everything, or one modelling tutorial section (sculpting, scenery scratchbuilding, conversions) and one painting tutorial section.

    Please trust me when I stress that community creativity (beyond official stuff) and resource library are key components of a website like this: We've already proven it thoroughly on Chaos Dwarfs Online. Community creativity is a great resource that should be tapped into with vigour. And remember that Facebook is a newsfeed kiosk of content gone-with-the-wind. One advantage forums have over Facebook, are their accumulating treasures, that can be compiled and made readily available.

    I like the idea of marrying Tactics to armies. I always have Tactics minimized because it takes so much space.

    Likewise I like the idea of keeping a separate section for contests. The new forum update will bring with it better announcement tools for e.g. competitions, but they'll be better visible in a section all of their own, akin to how we run them in Website News on CDO. I think having contests run separate from the proper news & announcement forum on T9A makes sense for the project. Less clutter and more clear-cut: Project announcements in one section, regular contests in the other.

    Also, a Contest section would feature both modelling & painting contests (Golden Sword), art contests, writing contests and so on.

    Apart from relegating Homebrew to off-topic miscellaneous, I like this layout proposal of yours. It can maybe be polished further with tweaks, but it's a good step in the right direction.

    Cheers!

    The post was edited 4 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

  • Karak and Infamous - thanks for your reaction.


    I'll briefly explain why I put it below. It's fan fiction, not official rules. I know 9th Age holds the Homebrew high, but I much rather see they would expand on official canon. I actually sometimes feel they hold Homebrew high because the offical canon is falling behind. I also believe that Homebrew only means something for a select group of people, the true 9th Age fanatics, but holds way less interest the the main crowd. And I do not mean to insult anyone. What you guys are doing there is absolutely great. But that my argumentation; official canon versus fan fiction.

    Edit: I stand corrected. Just went through Homebrew. There is alot more there then I thought! Mini games, alternative rules, etc. Should def. be in the "Into The Hobby" section.
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

    The post was edited 3 times, last by Pellegrim ().

  • On Creativity

    Display Spoiler
    Fundamentally, that is creatively, everything from Tolkien and onward are fan fiction in fantasy. The act of writing something that will receive an official stamp is no different from writing something that doesn't. Official or fanmade is a false dichotomy at the end of the day. Quality is where it's all at.

    And I hardly think homebrew developments have much to do with the release pace of official T9A background, or the way it's presented. The dedicated 9th Age team have their unpaid creative production and mode of operation, and everything outside that is pure bonus: The more creativity, the merrier. Kicking on non-official community creativity will not affect official T9A output, except maybe for starving it of potential outsider ideas in the long run.

    There is enormous creative potential for T9A, akin to CDO multiplied by 100. Not only with the official team, but also for everyone else to contribute to one grand brainstorming. This really must be encouraged. Hobby and unchained creativity must become bywords for the Ninth Age as a whole, to put fire into its soul. Currently, T9A carries common connotations of not-Warhammer, competitive tournament balance and community project (where it is known at all). It can be so much more. :)

    Eyes on the ball: Creativity. I've worked with creative group projects since 7 years of age, and know what encourages and hampers creativity with intimate familiarity. Obsession with official canon to the exclusion of all else is a classic cause of creative stagnation. Creativity is by its nature freewheeling and thrives on encouragement.

    We're not just consumers of others' works: We're creators ourselves.

    And now back to forum structure.

    Cheers!

    The post was edited 11 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

  • Hey, @Karak Norn Clansman thanks for tagging, today I was reading about some crazy ancient African ritual rites about people being buried in big jars (link and link ; of course I would never have looked it up if hadn't first read about it in A General History of AfricaA General History of Africa).
    Definitely calls for a true-Taphrian Undying Dynasties army :largegrin:
    Expect some related fluff story in the coming days.
    Sorry, just passing by ;)

    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa
  • Karak Norn Clansman wrote:

    I'm not sure moving Homebrew (a.k.a. open development of background etc. proposals) down to the bottom of the forum is a good thing. Keeping it with the creative stuff in the hobby section (or at least in the upper sections of the forum list) is more encouraging
    Changed it.

    More suggestions / reations that are usefull - and somewhat on-topic - are welcome?

    Do you miss your favorite section? Do you miss a place to discuss your favorite topics?
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Pellegrim ().

  • Thank you @Pellegrim for your initiative!

    Two remarks.

    Webpage layer added.
    First, for all the participants of this conversation to keep in mind, there will be soon (weeks?) a new layer added to T9A, in the form of a real webpage, acting as the homepage of the forum.
    The forum will stay, of course, as a real forum of discussion like today, but no longer as the first thing newcomers will see when they Google T9A.
    The new webpage will be specifically adapted to newcomers, with a short and appealing description of what is T9A and the 16 factions.
    The forum still needs a section dedicated to the same newcomers, but not necessarily at the beginning (as there will be links from the webpage).

    A structure based on which logic?
    Second, a forum has a hierarchical arrangement with sections and subsections. Several possibilities exist, which are neither better nor worse than others, they just abide by different logic.

    The current logic was: "The 9th Age" for what comes from the team, and "The Hobby Hub", "Tactics", "Armies" and "National Forums" for what comes from the community, THH being the non-specialized part, the three others being specialized somehow. The initial logic suffers some exception, such as "Background & Stories" being hijacked by the community, but basically it holds.

    The great emphasis placed on the community is a superb characteristic of T9A. On a forum created by a gaming company, you would expect probably subsections organized by different games and little input from fans.
    On other fan forums (I have been Admin ad Druchii.net for 10 years), I have observed four main components of the Hobby:
    - models (manufacturers, painting, tutorials, collection displays, shows, competitions...)
    - background (stories, RPG, discussion about realism or RL inspiration...)
    - games (tutorials, list building, batreps, tournaments, tactical discussions...)
    - people (general discussions about the forum, the weather, other games, introductions...).

    This distinction is not necessarily useful for everyone, but it is certainly meaningful for many.
    This is why it is important to keep tactics discussions and painting discussions separated.
    Still, sometimes it is not relevant to separate games and fluff, as background is the driver of rules, and homebrew creates a mix of BG and rules.


    Now let's review the Clean Quick Preliminary Re-arrangement.


    Spotlight: This is mostly informative, rather than creative. To help readers go to immediately to the point they are most interested in.
    Spotlight

    It could be divided in clear-cut sections (best order to be discussed):
    • T9A Gossip. (=what you call Rumors & Hobby News) - A timeline of running projects, which AB in under construction, which AB is currently in Beta testing phase, and which use the slim stable version, and on background, and new games under developments, and the life of the forum such as starting a new national section or announcing a new translation. Including a GANTT chart, of course! - Note: I am one of the three in charge of doing precisely this. However, experience shows it is nearly impossible to establish a timeline which won't suffer delays.
    • Games-related announcements. Announcements by the Head of Rules Teams, about rules-updates. Announcement about major international tournaments could be included there as well.
    • Company Showcase. Iconic of T9A, as models and accessories are part of the Hobby but not provided by T9A. The paintjob is separated for a good reason, but it could be a sub-section instead of an autonomous section. There would be also a need for a sub-section for companies printing rules, such as @JimMorr printing high quality rulebook, @piteglio 's Veil of the Ages or @Kanadian 's quick starter box.
    Beginners: It should be IMO separated from the rest, for the sake of beginner themselves and for those who are not interested in the very patient tutorial discussions. It needs not necessarily to be at the top, as there will be hyperlinks from the homepage.
    Beginners

    • Beginners Tutorials

    • Quick Starter Edition
    Discuss with Team T9A: This is iconic of T9A: talk directly with the creators! Understand rationales, suggest improvements.
    Discuss with Team 9th Age

    • Discussion about the project. Saucy Quill Inn, etc. Suggestions.
    • Discussion about the official Background. Suggestions.
    • Discussion about the game: Error reports; Army / List Building Tools; Rules Questions & Answers; Gamebased Feedback; Comments on rules, etc, etc
    • The 9th Age Development Section: Playtesting Feedback, Rules suggestions, Beta Testing (ALL ARMIES and games IN BETA PHASE)
    • Gaming Supporters Corner.
    • Discussions about models. (here you ask when Sigmarines or Dwarf Bear Cavalry will be usable and get a negative reply).
    • Website helpdesk.
    The Hobby Hub: This is also iconic of T9A: release the community's creativity!
    The Hobby Hub

    • Growing the Hobby
    • Playing opportunities: Tournaments, Gaming Events, Conventions, Player search...
    • Homebrew Background & Stories; online RPG, etc.
    • Homebrew Rules
    • The Workbench: Painting and Modelling discussions, Golden Sword, Plogs, Marketplace...
    Tactics, factions, nations forums - and off topic. Specialized parts of the Hobby Hub
    Battle tactics of The 9th Age

    • Playing: Video Reports, Podcasts, Batreps, Blogs, Campaigns...
    • General tactics discussions across factions. Non-faction-specific tactics (sorted by game phase); Ask Smith!
    • (16 factions specific tactical discussions). Includes list building, tactics, batrep...
    Factions discussions of The 9th Age

    • 16 faction-specific forums. Background, models...
    National & linguistic forums

    • (NATIONAL FORUMS). Includes links to other forums.
    Off Topic

    • Other Games discussions
    • Rumors & Hobby News not related to T9A
    • WWW Topics

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • @Calisson thanks for your reaction. I understand how the current forum came to be, and read your proposal. Didn't really like the proposal - respectfully. Mainly I hold a different position on these topics:
    • I believe the structure I sketched, with six mains, is more clear and robust then your proposed structure, which hold 8 mains, and is very diffuse (imo); A robust structure will enhancing the forum use. Go for six; it's more then enough. Maybe we can bring it down to 5 actually.
    • Don't cut off the Beginners Section in to a seperate section. Keep it in the 9th Age Main. Beginners are not contaminated, they don't have the plague, we want them to roam the same Main forum section. It's the main forum section, they'll find it, don't worry. In which we have a section for them. And they'll see the other goodies while they're at it.
    • I have a different opinion on names; they should be clear and strong. You tend to introduce playful analogies, that, in my opinion, do not contribute to the quality. They worsen it imo. Example: Hobby Hub version Into the Hobby. Hobby Hub. It's not server, it's no airport. Connecting is not all it does. It's actually allow people to share info, its a large part showing off the goodies. It's a narcissistic area actually. Sure, it's also about sharing information, but naming it a Hub is overstretching imo. As you can hear I hold a more direct approach to names, Mind you, I do like a good analogy. I love how on Bugmans Brewery they find great analogies for forum sections, that refer to different aspects of Dwarven Society. But names on a forum should show their content. That greatly improves a forum experience.
    I know you were heavily involved in the current structure - I also realised it fitted a pupose then, and things changed on the go. But - respectfully - it's a pretty bad structure at the moment. Topics are spread everywhere, there is little focus. This also makes in impossible to moderate in a decent way. If we can make improvements, let's see if we can seize the moment and do so. And make it robust.
    Booooooaaaaaarsssss .... Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaarge !!!

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Pellegrim ().

  • I think there should be one broad subforum for « Tactics » in general.

    Because the most interesting or relevant topics are about general positioning, deployment, paths of magic, how to use fast cavalry, etc.
    And even if the discussion is focused on, say, Highborn Sea Guard, the discussion can be interesting to everyone, more than before, because now the whole game content is accessible to everybody (free pdf downloads) and people tend to swap more easily between different armies than before (you can always play on UB even if you don't own the models). I'd keep the « Army » subforums for discussing specific topics of army design or list-building and remove the tactics from there.
    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa
  • DJWoodelf wrote:

    there should be a homebrew download section with ready-to-play documents.
    you need to read a lot to find out the current status of homebrew.
    When something does not exist in T9A, the spirit is: do it yourself.
    Actualy, I did for the Homebrew AB: A list of Homebrew
    Similar work could be envisioned for other Homebrew, such as rules variants. Anyone interested? :rolleyes:

    Pellegrim wrote:

    I know you were heavily involved in the current structure - I also realised it fitted a purpose then, and things changed on the go. But - respectfully - it's a pretty bad structure at the moment.
    No need to apologize for asking changes; the forum is not my baby, I only contributed once to add a couple of patches to something already convoluted. I fully concur that some changes would be very helpful.
    My suggestion for old names is because I felt their purpose was still justified, but of course YMMV and the current thread is appropriately here to allow people to discuss pros and cons.

    -=-=-
    - 5, 6 or 8 sections, I am not sure the discussion should be on such an abstract number. IMO what matters is the internal coherence of the content, and having each section at convenient size and complexity. It needs not to please you or me, but most users.

    - Beginners: stand alone, or merged with the Hobby/Hub-Main section-whichever name? Two diverging opinions were expressed, let's hear others, I understand also some reasons to merge.

    - National Forums: stand alone, or merged with "Into the Hobby"? I am not sure you realize the complexity of the National Forums, and its character of being written in foreign languages and moderated by specific moderators. Please have a look. Anyway, other opinions are welcome.

    Social Media Team

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    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • DJWoodelf wrote:

    there should be a homebrew download section with ready-to-play documents.
    I hardly check that section anymore because you need to read a lot to find out the current status of homebrew.
    This would really push self-created content.
    This is an excellent idea! Something similar to the current Downloads section but for unofficial documents yeah?
  • MASTERWIRED wrote:

    DJWoodelf wrote:

    there should be a homebrew download section with ready-to-play documents.
    This is an excellent idea! Something similar to the current Downloads section but for unofficial documents yeah?
    This is easy to implement immediately:
    1. Someone creates a post with hyperlinks to relevant threads, and asks a mod to pin it.
    2. When there is a need to update (new documents, update links, remove documents superseded...), then someone posts an updated version and asks a mod to replace the OP with it.

    The only difficulty is to find "someone". ;)

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves