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Welcome to the new ZU Forums Beta
  • After months of downtime, we're finally back in action. Although it's a little rough around the edges, we've been working for the better part of a year on this new forum. Most of that work is behind the scenes; features you won't see added for many months. But a lot of it is here today in this first public beta.

    Since things are all shiny and new, and since we need your feedback to make it better, here's everything you need to know about the new ZU forums.


    Everything you need to know about the new ZU Forums.

    There's an all-new design-in-progress.

    It's rough around the edges, but the new ZU forums have a modern design that matches the design we launched last year on the main site. We can't stress enough how unfinished we are with this design, but we think you'll get the general idea that we're going for. We'd love your thoughts on how it looks now and changes you'd like to see as we continue to finish up the styling. Here's what we're still working on:

    Mostly finished
    • Forum index
    Half-finished
    • Profile pages
    • Thread lists
    • Threads and posts
    • Conversations (aka PM's)
    Yeah, we didn't touch that yet
    • Search
    • Creating/replying to threads
    • Member lists
    • Pretty much anything that doesn't have to do with actually having conversations with people

    It works almost exactly like vBulletin... but smarter.

    We went through an exhaustive technology research period where we looked at virtually every forum software on the market - we even considered building our own. At the end of the day, we knew it would be best to make iterative improvements to the forums, not change things radically on the first day. So we chose software that looks a lot like vBulletin on the outside, but is completely modern on the inside.

    There are some radical things we can do with this software because it's so modern - like blur the line between the main site and the forums, making them behave like a single site. Expect to see your ZU Forums account used in more places for really cool things.

    We gave the forums focus by removing extra features.

    It's weird to say that removing features is a positive thing - but in this case, it really is. vBulletin was full of feature creep, with seemingly random features popping out of every corner. When designing the new ZU Forums, we wanted to give ourselves a fresh start, only building in the features we thought were essential to the community. This level of focus keeps the forums simple and easy to use, especially for new members. It also makes public conversations immediately accessible, without hiding them behind the guise of extra features.

    The most obvious feature we cut is Social Groups, but we also opted not to bring over user image galleries and a few other small things. In short, what you see is what you get: a great message board that isn't trying to be something it's not.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Since we're sure you have lots of questions, we've put together a list of the most common questions and their answers. Feel free to ask more in the thread!

    What forum software is this, exactly?
    Probably nothing you've ever heard of! It's Woltlab Burning Board. It the most advanced, modern forum software we've ever seen. The real goodies are on the inside for developers, not the outside, giving us the capabilities to expand the forums in ways we never could before.

    Why are the last posts on the forums dated to September 28th?
    During the import process, we encountered a separate issue with the server that hosted the old forums. This issue left the forums unable to be imported, and we had to use our most recent backup. Roughly a month's worth of posts and user accounts were lost, but we're just happy we run backups!

    I miss X feature from the old forums. Is it coming back eventually?
    For the most part, the features you see today are the ones we chose to implement, so chances are your favorite feature isn't coming back. We tried to do our best to bring over most of the features people loved while staying focused on the ones that mattered. And, of course, never say never!

    When are you going to add in X feature?
    We can't say. We don't talk about our development timelines publicly.

    No, but seriously, I meant the old forum skins. I need blue in my life.
    The old forum skins were totally incompatible with our new forum software. Rather than rebuild legacy features, we wanted to focus on designing a singular forum that would provide the best experience for everyone. We don't think of our design as a simple skin; we think of it as a platform we can build on in the future. The new ZU Forum doesn't have skins, and we currently have no plans to produce any.

    My signature is showing tons of BBcode tags. How can I fix this?
    Our new forum software doesn't use quotes in BBcode tags. Remove the quotes, and your signature will look awesome again!

    What are "points", and why do I have them?
    Points are the new post count. They're a special metric that better represents your participation in the forums. For example, creating a thread earns you more points than making a post. Everyone's point count has been recalculated fresh for the new forums.

    Why are the forums so broken on my mobile device?
    We had started work on a mobile version of the forums, but it is vastly unfinished. However, we haven't had time to remove it while preparing for launch. We'll be cleaning this up and removing the unfinished mobile skin very soon.

    X is broken. Fix it now!
    Post a screenshot of the issue and a description of the problem and we're right on it!

    I have a strong opinion about the forums. Where can I share it?
    Right here! Since this is a beta, we're totally relying on your feedback to make the new forums the best they can be. At the end of the day, ZU is a community - and we believe the forums should be built with everyone's input.


    Thanks for reading - enjoy the new ZU Forums!

    We know it's been a long and bumpy road getting here. A lot of you have waited patiently, and we can't thank you enough for that. You're the lifeblood of ZU, and the heart of the Zelda community. And, together, we're going to make these new forums our home for the future.

    Peace and Triforce pieces!
  • Additionally, the sigpic BBCode does not and will not work. You cannot upload your own signature images (as far as I am aware).

    Banners are also currently being reimplemented. Don't freak out because your banners are gone; we're gonna take care of that. :)

    Anyways, I'm just happy that we've finally managed to launch. These past few months have been nightmarish for me. Lots of long nights and WAY too little sleep. Regardless, this is what we've been so diligently building. I hope the community enjoys it, and I hope to hear some feedback to see how we can improve.
    (former) Technical administrator and developer for Zelda Universe and Zelda Wiki.
    Want to know more about ZW? Read up!
  • and we're back.

    bug report: the recommended avatar size is 500 by 500 but images this size stretch out the user profile page (check my user profile for an example). Also, the rescaling script that fits the image to your avatar next to your post generates really low quality images. Again, look at my avatar. I'd expect this if it was stretching a lower resolution image, but it shouldn't do that going the other way around.

    edit: I figured out why the avatar quality is sh*tty. For some reason, ZU is scaling the image down to 128 by 128 and then stretching it to fit the post sidebar. Counter-intuitive, clearly. Another bug: messages are being censored.
    PM me about the LGBTA+ discord server | #WontBeErased

    gender of the moment: | pronouns: it/its

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

  • Captain Cornflake wrote:

    Is there a skin that isn't a giant mess of "what on earth am I even looking at?"

    Theme selector? Something in here to make this, you know, kinda readable?


    not currently. We can only pray that they are planning on doing so soon though.

    edit: oh, hey, another bug. An old one that brings back memories. This post is a ghost post. It doesn't add to my post count nor does it show up on the index.
    PM me about the LGBTA+ discord server | #WontBeErased

    gender of the moment: | pronouns: it/its

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

  • Thank you handsome hunky code monkeys, good to be back.

    Digging the new design, though naturally there's a few things I feel are worth noting;
    - No option to mark all conversations as read yet.
    - Got about 117 notifications saying that everyone quoted an ancient post I made and they all did this February 3rd, 2015. They definitely didn't. Might just be a one-time nuisance, only time will tell.
    - the sidebar showing my handsome grin just grew while I was typing this message and it was furreaky.
    - The old themes are gone and I can dig this as I was always a Temple sort of fellow, however this skin has some serious mobile issues and I need to have ZU in my train-ride heavy life! Most of the elements seem to overlap and the pop-up menus are small enough to keep hitting the report button when you feel like quoting a message.
  • Yep, I'm aware of all of these. These are things we do plan to take care of in one way or another.

    Anna Claire wrote:

    and we're back.bug report: the recommended avatar size is 500 by 500 but images this size stretch out the user profile page (check my user profile for an example). Also, the rescaling script that fits the image to your avatar next to your post generates really low quality images. Again, look at my avatar. I'd expect this if it was stretching a lower resolution image, but it shouldn't do that going the other way around.edit: I figured out why the avatar quality is sh*tty. For some reason, ZU is scaling the image down to 128 by 128 and then stretching it to fit the post sidebar. Counter-intuitive, clearly. Another bug: messages are being censored.
    (former) Technical administrator and developer for Zelda Universe and Zelda Wiki.
    Want to know more about ZW? Read up!
  • I'm gonna be honest here. (Within reason >_>)

    As a mod, I've been privy to a fraction of the effort our admins (including people who aren't ranked as "admin" on the forum, like Jason and Justin), and I am very thankful for their tireless work on providing us all with a more stable ZU than we had three months ago and beyond.

    I can't help but be worried about what the new ZU has and doesn't have, but hopefully much of this can be amended during this beta period; my concern, however, remains.

    Anna Claire wrote:

    and we're back.

    bug report: the recommended avatar size is 500 by 500 but images this size stretch out the user profile page (check my user profile for an example). Also, the rescaling script that fits the image to your avatar next to your post generates really low quality images. Again, look at my avatar. I'd expect this if it was stretching a lower resolution image, but it shouldn't do that going the other way around.

    edit: I figured out why the avatar quality is sh*tty. For some reason, ZU is scaling the image down to 128 by 128 and then stretching it to fit the post sidebar. Counter-intuitive, clearly. Another bug: messages are being censored.

    We're aware of the scaling issue (such as my circular avatar not being circular), and such. I don't know what the solution will be or where on the priorities list it is, but it is known.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Sabbo: 検閲 ().

  • Might be some option I missed but I didn't get notified about new reactions to this thread. EDIT: getting notifications all of a sudden, joy.

    From a design perspective, I am loving how a lot of the new buttons fit the new design of the main page but I'm not really digging the white gradient underneath every signature, especially when the message is small enough that the gradient doesn't actually reach the bottom of the post.
    The sidebar has some cool features but the [NEW] banner is overlapping some words and the postcount is a bit hard to read; could use a separate backdrop.

    Also, the message box is nice and sleek but could definitely fit the theme better; definitely not a large priority by any means but would be cool to see a more fitting design there.

    Also my signature is not showing up underneath this post for some reason.

    The post was edited 4 times, last by gamtos ().

  • Thanks for all the behind-the-scenes work, folks. It's good to be back!

    I'm not particularly au fait with this kind of thing, but I remember that back in the Black Valentine's crash when we lost some posts, we were able to dig them out of the cache. I know that this is a different situation, but will it be at all possible to regain them from the cache? (That said I have no idea how to access this magical cache, but I thought it might be worth asking, haha.)
  • Anna Claire wrote:

    Captain Cornflake wrote:

    Is there a skin that isn't a giant mess of "what on earth am I even looking at?"

    Theme selector? Something in here to make this, you know, kinda readable?


    not currently. We can only pray that they are planning on doing so soon though.


    As the OP states: No.

    That said, it doesn't take long to get used to the layout. Yes it kind of blends together and yes there aren't as many features as ZU used to have, but you're free to request whatever you want.