Forum - Bugs, Suggestions, Updates, To Do Sticky Thread
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 10736       June 28 '09 at 06:07 AM       Post edited by Z-R0E on April 15 '10 at 11:59 PM
I'm going to be using one mega-thread here to handle bug reports, as well as suggestions for new features, recent updates, and my to do list. The updates are mainly minor things, that wouldn't be covered on the front page Recent Updates area. The to do list is mainly here for my own use so I don't forget ideas I have. This thread will be kept clean. Once a new bug or suggestion has been taken care of, references to it will be deleted.

If you're reporting a bug, please be as descriptive as possible. Include the steps to reproduce the error, any messages it displays, etc. If it's a layout error, a screenshot can be helpful. Simply saying "X doesn't work" is extremely unhelpful and frustrating to the point that it makes me want to not-care.

Medal Suggestions
I was going to make a more automated system for suggesting, however I think public discussion of it all could help foster more new ideas for medals. Here are the basic requirements:
-The medal itself. 16px tall, width doesn't matter.
-The medal's author. If you simply resized an image, you are not the author. If you don't know the author, mention where you found the image from.
-The title associated with it.
-How much experience you think it should cost, or an alternative form of earning it.
-Medal suggestions should be kept to this thread. Not over AIM, e-mail, chat, etc. Here.

To Do
Make a statistics page, with random things like total posts, comments, etc.
Write formatting button help page.
Write CPanel help page.
Medal requirements + purchase cost (Hero of Time, Autobot Elite Guard)
Avatar for RSS Feeds.
List recent medals some place.
SC2 statistics in a member's profile. I'm reluctant do this now, on the idea that Blizzard will have a website to pull this information off in the near future.
Add RPS101 to forum posts or something.
Categorize replays.

WoW classes
Peakaboo metool.
▲▲▼▼◄►◄►BA Contra 1up
As well as a Samus logo, fire flower, and invincibility star.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
The Z-g0d
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Post 29311       April 29 '10 at 08:44 AM       Post edited by Z-R0E on September 17 '10 at 05:37 PM
As for IRC information on the help page, I'll maybe link to (or move) the IRC thread into the help page. Simply putting the IRC server info there though is a bit redundant, since it's right there on the navigation bar.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 43021       September 17 '10 at 05:33 PM       Post edited by Z-R0E on September 17 '10 at 05:36 PM
Most all medal purchases will be significantly reduced. I will try to retroactively reimburse the experience spent on them, but no promises (I honestly don't remember if I put in a system to keep track).

As I've discussed else where, I intend to change the term "experience" to "credits" in the near future. When I do, I'll likely also rename "medals" to "badges", just on the idea that a medal sounds like something you'd earn rather than buy (and why it kind of worked with the idea of experience). I want to keep the functionality of how medals work, but I don't see a medal as something bought. Badges are a bit closer to that.

I get too hung up on terms for things.

Experience/credits given will be increased for forum posts. I'll also be giving out some credits for hanging out in IRC (not much, but a bit). I'd also love to hear new ideas to give experience for. I didn't realize until now, but the new system I used to handle @ZSL5 didn't give experience to players. That will be handed out here shortly, and fixed for @ZSL6.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 43043       September 18 '10 at 06:03 AM       Post edited by Z-R0E on September 18 '10 at 06:08 AM
Experience renamed to CreditsCredits. Medals renamed to badges.

Badge prices reduced.
2000 down to 400
2000 to 200
4000 to 600
2000 to 600
2000 to 600
1000 to 200
1000 to 200
750 to 200
750 to 200
The cost difference in those has been reimbursed.

I'll be making unlockable (buy all three other Zelda badges) and unlocked by buying buying the soon-to-be four Transformer badges (I want to add Maximal & Predacon badges).

All BroodWar proleague team badges have been reduced from 800 to 100, but cost difference was not reimbursed (I'm the only one who had them, and it wasn't worth the effort).

Poketrainer cost increased from 500 to 600, however the people who already had it were not charged extra.

100 credits per match (not game) given to each participant from @ZSL5. My @ZSL replay uploader has been updated to give the credits as I upload the games in the future (it will give credits on the second game played).

Credit gains for forum posts increased, but not as much as I had thought. To be frank, I had actually forgotten how I went about handling the experience credits given out for forum posts. When I went back and looked at it, I had one of those "damn, I was pretty smart with this" moments. The problem I think isn't with the values set for the forum posts, it's with member ratings.

Credit gains are very dependent on your rating. To give an example, you get Credits5 + (YourRating * 3) for making a forum post. In theory, I really like that idea. In practice, it hasn't worked out very well. Not many people simply bother to take that moment to click the Rate Up or Rate Down arrows.

So before I go and change the base values that forum posts give, I'd first like to give the rating system another shot. If any one has suggestions on how to make it easier, or even just point out that it exists to new people, I'd be very welcome to thoughts on it.
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Post 43052       September 18 '10 at 09:15 AM
I just don't think we have enough active members to use a system like that in its current form.
Once you rate up someone, you can't rate them again. This means people are rating people so infrequently that you forget the system is even in place. It's certainly not a prominent feature.
Maybe change the values a bit down and make it so you can rate individual posts?
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 43053       September 18 '10 at 09:28 AM
If you could rate individual posts, then I imagine rating would almost become a chore. I'd go through rating all of your posts to get your more points.

I was about to make the argument that rating by post would be more helpful if we had so many posts that we needed to filter the posts, but that's not the case. That kind of made me realize the same with users. I had always kind of thought of it as a fun way to reward people, but in reality something like this should be for filtering out people; account approval is a good enough user filter.

Maybe I should just raise the base values and lower the rating modifier then.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 56146       February 12 '11 at 12:59 PM
Thanks to an indirect suggestion from Tycho, News Fetcher can now get the images and full articles from Gawker sites. Instead of trying to read the article from their new layout, News Fetcher is instead getting the articles from their mobile site. Thanks for making this stupid harder than it should be, Gawker.

Related, I also tweaked the layout just a bit. Like Gawker uses their own video tags that won't work outside of their site, so there'll be a note if the actual article has a video to watch. I changed the logic on how long articles are cut off, and increased the cut off from 1000 characters to 2000 characters.
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Post 57985       March 02 '11 at 03:13 PM
News Fetcher now gets SC Center, a daily StarCraft news recap show, largely covering tournament results. Sorry to those with no interest in SC.
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Post 60519       March 29 '11 at 09:49 PM
I have completely redone the news backend. For the most part, users won't notice a difference, but it'll make maintaining it in the future a lot easier for me.

There's also a new feature where members can post articles from other sites onto @Z's front page, with the news. However, I was a bit uncomfortable in making this available to everyone right off the bat. So, if you want the ability to use this feature, simply ask me and I'll flag your account for it.

This new Add News Article thing only works for a handful of sites, but all you have to do is paste the link into a box. Adding additional sites is (usually) easy to do, but I don't want to add a dozen sites trying to guess which ones people need. So if there's a site you want to post articles from, ask me to add it and I will.
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Post 66071       August 09 '11 at 10:05 AM
Pretty big changes, at least in terms of how backends work. To the user, it won't be that much different I guess.

The whole purchase/unlock badge system is gone. There's a page in your control panel now for you to choose which badge you want to use. You can use any of them, change any time. I really liked the old idea, but there simply isn't incentive enough for people to participate in it; the community isn't really big enough for that sort of thing I think.

You still have your credits, but for now they're back to being useless. One day I'm confident I'll get back to work on the cardgame (because I still know the how, which for years is what stopped me), and the credits will be of use then.

The game contacts concept has been changed. It actually was used somewhat frequently, but one-sided: People added their games/characters, but no one ever really used to it to look up other people. Let's face it, no one needs to know the level & server of your sixth WoW alt, or how to get ahold of you in a game you haven't played in six months, or your Wii friend code (lol).

I've taken the previous contact infos (e-mail, AIM, etc) and the major game services (Steam, PS3, etc) and rolled them into a sort of hybrid of the two. You can adjust them in your profile, and flag which ones you want visible to non-members.

I tried to avoid using any specific games. If you need someone's specific character name, I figure you can get it from them through one of the others. SC2 is the only specific game I have on there, namely because I need to have peoples' SC2 accounts on file for the @ZSL stuff, so might as well.

I have no intention of adding a per-character thing for SWTOR to it, for the same reasons I explained why it was a bit useless to have with WoW. However, if SWTOR has some sort of account-wide friend list, I'll definitely add a field for that.
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Post 66330       August 15 '11 at 08:11 PM
Penny Arcade recently put a new site up. When they did this, they must have inadvertently messed up their RSS feed; going to http://feeds.penny-arcade.com/pa-mainsite?format=xml just takes you to their website, not to an RSS feed.

As many know, I'm going out of town for two weeks tomorrow (Tuesday). If they fix their RSS feed before I leave, I'll try and get News Fetcher updated to work with their new site. If not, it'll have to wait until I get back.

Just wanted to give the heads up on that, so that people know I'm aware it's not working and that it's relatively out of my hands.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 67836       September 24 '11 at 08:28 PM       Post edited by Z-R0E on September 24 '11 at 08:29 PM
So about a year ago I start using Twitter to post on the @Z shoutbox from my phone. The Twitter app makes it really easy to post to, so I just made a script to copy my twitter crap to the shoutbox. Over time I've used it to follow a handful of people (mostly from the SC2 community), and have been using retweets to post fun messages on to @Z.

I've taken steps to further this integration. I've added Google+ and Twitter for contact info (set them in your profile). Remember that Google+ uses that long ID number, mouseover your name on G+ and you'll see it (mine is 116553471129287967359). I've also removed ICQ & YIM, because no one uses that crap. Also-also, I changed all the contact info icons to icons taken from their official sites.

In the near future, @Z will take everyone's* G+ and Twitter accounts and post them on the shoutbox. By "everyone", I mean people who have those flagged as public; if it's not checked as public, it won't fetch them. Similarly, it won't fetch non-public message (or messages that start with an @). This will go live soon as I get some final tweaks for it done.

Although now a bit old news, I added the bulk of PATV to News Fetcher. Gabe Art wasn't added, because Gabe often posts about it any way. Blamnations weren't added because I don't usually like them.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 76356       May 08 '12 at 10:27 PM
All listings of Battle.net RealIDs have been removed. You can now list your BattleTag in your profile. Remember to include the #.
Defender of the Universe Z-R0E
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Post 107780       August 23 '14 at 05:21 PM
Been a long time since I've done any work here, but I think I'm going to be getting some things done in the coming weeks.

A lot of websites have changed their RSS setups, making it so News Fetcher can't read them (including Penny Arcade and Zero Punctuation). I want to fix that.

I'm going to rework how the forums display. There will be one button for the forum, a button for private forum, and that's it. Games forum will be rolled into "the" forum. News will have it's own search function.

The news will take a bit of a more predominant role. I'll have a clear list of what sites it pulls from, when they were last pulled from, and users can choose to not display news from a site.

I'm not sure what exactly, but there will be some social media integration, including Facebook. My opinions on it haven't changed, I still dislike that so much of our online social interactions are centered around one website, but at this point fighting it only hurts me. I'm thinking maybe something like including @Z user's public posts on the front page, something like that. We'll see. I'd like any feedback there.