What are the changes?
- We're moving the off-topic boards to the Main Discussion section, along with the sections for the most recent games. As always, the boards for the games will be migrated to the Previous Games section once they are no longer the currently released game. There may also be a slight re-ordering of a couple of the boards.
- We're merging Video Games Central into General Talk, and renaming it Off-Topic. The NBA & Basketball Talk board will remain separate, though we'll be dropping "Talk" from the title.
- We're merging the Help & Requests boards with the main board for their respective games. We'll also be merging the Tutorials and FAQs boards for games that have them both, and adding labels of [TUTORIAL] and [FAQ] to thread titles as appropriate. Requests for mods or help will henceforth be welcome in the main board for any given game, although we might also look at having a stickied Requests thread in the Releases & Previews boards, a central place where people can make requests, and anyone interested in fulfilling requests can keep track of them.
- The Virtual Hardwood will be renamed to Other Basketball Games, a name we've used before, and a label that's less ambiguous. It'll remain a place to discuss any basketball games that don't have their own dedicated board (ie anything other than NBA Live or NBA 2K). General NBA Live or NBA 2K discussion topics ("Which is your favourite game in the series?", and the like) will still be welcome there, too.
Why the changes?
- Basically, some boards become redundant over time. As far as the off-topic boards are concerned, we really only need the two: the NBA & Basketball board (being a related interest to our primary content), and a general off-topic board for everything else, including other video games, TV, movies, and general chit-chat.
- With the basketball game subforums, we have some that are essentially serving the same purpose, or very similar ones. Over time, the Help & Requests section has basically become a second main discussion board for any given game. Having both is overkill, so we're streamlining things.
- We'd also like to feature our off-topic boards a little more prominently. We'd like to encourage everyone to get involved with all aspects of the NLSC Forum, and traditionally speaking, we've found that most people continue to hang around the off-topic boards once they've lost interest in basketball video games. So we want people to know that they're there, and a part of the community we have here at the NLSC.
- The name changes are, for the most part, cosmetic. The "Talk" labels are a throwback to our original Forum, and while there's nothing wrong with them, it's a little redundant. After all, the NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 boards aren't called "NBA Live 16 Talk" and "NBA 2K16 Talk". As for The Virtual Hardwood, most people seem to get what it's about, but it could be clearer, and not everyone seems to read the board descriptions. Less catchy name, perhaps, but also less ambiguous. In a nutshell, the renaming of boards is being done to make things look a little neater, and be a little clearer.
We also want to move away from having two many "central" threads: stuff like "2015/2016 Season Discussion" and the like. Obviously, there will be some discussions that are better off in one thread - Draft results, leagues, official patch notes and impressions, etc - but we want to avoid having too many "talk about sliders here", "talk about the current season here", and other such threads. Catch-all threads have their place, but they can also appear unwelcoming to newcomers, and end up stifling discussion. Our advice? If you want to talk about something and there isn't already a thread for it...make one! Don't be afraid to make threads; if there's an issue, we'll let you know, and advise you on the situation as necessary.
When is this all happening?
As I said, we're planning on doing this within the next few days, from September 6th/7th (depending on where you are in the world when this is posted). We wanted to give everyone a heads up, so that you don't wonder where certain sections went. Likewise, we'll leave this thread up as a global announcement for a week or two after the changes take place, just to explain what has happened.
Any other future changes?
We'll continue to monitor the activity and needs of the NLSC Forum, and make any further changes as necessary. If the situation warrants, we may merge other boards, or re-work the way we handle the "archived" basketball game boards to reduce the size of the Forum index, while still featuring them prominently. If we're planning on making any such changes, we'll be sure to announce them, like this.
We're also in the process of re-writing the Rules slightly. Nothing major will change, but we're trying to clear up ambiguity, and make sure that there are as few unwritten rules as possible. We'll also be updating a few things, like signature and avatar limits, custom titles, and so on. We'll see if we can add some other fun stuff, too.
Any questions or concerns, just let me know!