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Welcome to the New Forums!

Greetings, everyone, and welcome to the new forums!

The Dragonlance Forums are now utilizing the latest version of vBulletin, offering new functionality and some nifty new themes. Unfortunately, the old theme was not compatible with the new forums.

For now, I recommend the Black Red theme. I may play around with themes later on to make something that fits in with the rest of the site better.

The new address is forums.dragonlancenexus.com. Please bookmark this. I will eventually set up dragonlanceforums.com to redirect here.

There will probably be some structural changes coming soon too. More on that when we have info.

I wanted to say thanks to all of you for your patience and loyalty. Also thanks to Shannon Appelcline for hosting the forums for so many years. Be sure to check out his Designers & Dragons series of history books on RPG history.

Finally, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Trav (tjwmagic), who made this move possible. He did a great job and I couldn't be more proud.

So with that, let's keep on talking Dragonlance.

Long live the Lance!

Trampas Whiteman
"Dragonhelm"
Dragonlance Nexus
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Future of the Dragonlance Forums

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  • Future of the Dragonlance Forums

    Dear friends,

    I recently got a message from Shannon Appelcline, who hosts this forum and the Lexicon on the RPG.net servers. They are making some changes on their end, which means that I'm faced with a choice. I can either move the forums and Lexicon, update them to a new format, or in the case of these forums, kill it. Or I could take over this server at a cost of $20 a month. Note that I am not a server admin.

    The Dragonlance Forums have existed for 17 years. However, the version of vBulletin that it's on is severely dated. The back-end gets hammered with thousands of spam accounts.

    The simple truth is, as much as I love what we have built here, it's become a very niche forum with little traffic. So I am considering shutting it down.

    I can set up a new instance of vBulletin and start over, moving over the threads that are the most important to keep. Or we could go to the vBulletin Cloud format, which would have automatic updates, but would cost $15 a month.

    Or, I could copy the important threads over to The Piazza's Dragonlance forums and call it a day.

    Also, we need to consider that the Dragonlance fan community is mostly on Facebook now with the Dragonlance Adventures group.

    So tell me, what scenario would you like to see?
    Trampas Whiteman
    ---DragonHelm--->



    Long Live the Lance!

    "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
    -David "Big Mac" Shepheard

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dragonhelm View Post
    Or, I could copy the important threads over to The Piazza's Dragonlance forums and call it a day.
    This one is the most practical, right? I mean, most of us are already on there, aren't we?

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have a good sense of what the “copy the important threads” process would look like? An actual export/import of a good chunk of the database? Or just that you would manually repost using quote and paste, 20 threads or less?
      Michael FalconerDragonlance FAQDragonlance Product ListThe Matter of Theology by Jeff Grubb

      OSRIC (free PDF)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Falconer View Post
        Do you have a good sense of what the “copy the important threads” process would look like? An actual export/import of a good chunk of the database? Or just that you would manually repost using quote and paste, 20 threads or less?
        More the latter.

        I'm going to try to talk to vBulletin about options, but honestly a copy and paste might be better. Worked for moving WotC's DL forums over here.
        Trampas Whiteman
        ---DragonHelm--->



        Long Live the Lance!

        "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
        -David "Big Mac" Shepheard

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dragonhelm View Post
          Dear friends,

          I recently got a message from Shannon Appelcline, who hosts this forum and the Lexicon on the RPG.net servers. They are making some changes on their end, which means that I'm faced with a choice. I can either move the forums and Lexicon, update them to a new format, or in the case of these forums, kill it. Or I could take over this server at a cost of $20 a month. Note that I am not a server admin.

          The Dragonlance Forums have existed for 17 years. However, the version of vBulletin that it's on is severely dated. The back-end gets hammered with thousands of spam accounts.

          The simple truth is, as much as I love what we have built here, it's become a very niche forum with little traffic. So I am considering shutting it down.

          I can set up a new instance of vBulletin and start over, moving over the threads that are the most important to keep. Or we could go to the vBulletin Cloud format, which would have automatic updates, but would cost $15 a month.
          I'm really sorry to see this. I've had an account here longer than I've had an account at The Piazza. And would be sorry to see these forums go.

          Is there any way you could migrate the vBulletin database over to phpBB? phpBB is free to use and many hosting companies support it.

          If you set up the software correctly, you can have questions that block spambot sign ups. And if you add in a Stop Forum Spam module, you can report anyone who manually signs up to spam, so that all forums using Stop Forum Spam automatically ban that spammer. (So you can join a neighborhood watch" organisation that keeps spammers away.)

          That would be a bunch of work, but it could get rid of your vBulletin costs forever and maybe give you the option to raise funds for a one-time-process to save your forum (instead of having the forums leech cash).

          Originally posted by Dragonhelm View Post
          Or, I could copy the important threads over to The Piazza's Dragonlance forums and call it a day.

          Also, we need to consider that the Dragonlance fan community is mostly on Facebook now with the Dragonlance Adventures group.

          So tell me, what scenario would you like to see?
          I've not spoken to the rest of the team at The Piazza yet, but I know that we would be happy to have the DL fans here come to our Dragonlance forum (and Taladas forum), if it comes to that.

          I don't think we could promise the large range of forums you have here, but The Piazza has a long history of supporting projects, that includes private project forums (for things like the Mystara fanzine and Spelljammer fanzine). So we might even be able to help you transfer over a small number of Nexus admin projects, that you want to continue running on forums.

          I don't think we could have the massive range of forums you have here, replicated at The Piazza, but, if things have slowed down here, concentrating all the discussions into a central Dragonlance forum, will create a situation where all the Dragonlance fans see everything that people want to talk about. (And if people wanted to build up to having things like an Adlantum subforum, they could use '[Adlataum]" tags, and that could be looked into later. Check out the Mystara forum at The Piazza, to see what a campaign setting forum, with lots of projects looks like on our website.)

          What sort of deadline are you up against, if you decide to dump these forums?

          You might want to put out the word, to see if anyone can make a script to suck posts out of topics.

          You might also want to see if someone can make a script to crawl the Dragonlance Forums and submit every single URL to the Wayback Machine, so that you can store a backup there. (You might also be able to reach out to someone who works for the Wayback Machine, to see if they can crawl the Dragonlance Forums for you.)
          David "Big Mac" Shepheard
          Dragonlance Lexicon 2.0: My Talk Page - My Contributions
          Visit my Yahoo links for: Dragonlance websites, Taladas websites and Dragonlance web enhancements
          (If I am not here, you can find me at the Dragonlance forum at The Piazza or the Taladas and Otherlands forum at The Piazza.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Well...that's a bummer. I'd hate to lose this place, but I recognize it's long since dried up of activity, so it feels pointless to demand saving it. Dragonlance has been dead for years now, and it's becoming increasingly clear WotC does not intend to ever bring it back. I guess that's just the way it is.
            Formerly Daos Soulstaff

            Comment


            • #7
              I like us having our own little space and would be deeply sad to see it go. I also understand keeping it may not be practical.
              The stars would fall from heaven and the gods would faint in horror if diplomats started speaking the truth- Sithel
              I've got better things to do tonight than die!-Springer
              "..before my time but Ive been told, you never come back from Copperhead Road"
              Currently reading: Transformers: Exodus

              Comment


              • #8
                Options

                Making a decision here is hard for me, as I was here when this forum was built and it's been my baby.

                So here are our options.

                1. I pony up $20 a month to take over this server. We continue to run on an outdated version of the software. We continue to have issues with about 250,000 spam accounts. While most have never been activated, we see too many of them on a regular basis.

                2. I create a brand-spanking new DL Forums on the same hosting I have the Nexus. I have a license for an updated version of vBulletin, the software that runs these forums. Basically, we start from scratch, but we port over those topics that are worth keeping.

                NOTE: My prior attempts at updating this software have not worked and I was advised by a friend with knowledge of vBulletin that I should stick with the current version.

                3. We go to the cloud version of the software. It would be a $15 a month fee, BUT the software updates automatically. Huge bonus there.

                4. We scrap this forum, and you guys head over to the Piazza's Dragonlance forums. The folks over at the Piazza are very friendly and welcoming and they have said they will welcome anyone from this forum. Plus they talk about other RPG settings and game systems. So if, for example, you're a huge Ravenloft fan, you would have a place to talk about that there. No matter what, check those forums out.


                My take...

                I would rather not deal with #1. I just feel tired when I think about it and I hate not having the control I want. I'm tired of relying on others, even when they have been most generous.

                Part of me is excited at the idea of a new forum, but I just don't think there would be enough traffic. Prove me wrong on this!

                So I don't know. I'm trying not to make any rash decisions and I am trying to keep all of you in mind. At the same time, I'm trying to keep in mind trends with online communities.

                So...thoughts?
                Trampas Whiteman
                ---DragonHelm--->



                Long Live the Lance!

                "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
                -David "Big Mac" Shepheard

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ok I'll admit this computer lingo and vbulletin stuff is completely lost on me. So this might seem like a stupid question, but would some kinda donation crowd funding to pay a years worth #3 be a viable or reasonable option? that's 180 and would let us keep a space for just us to bs about dragonlance or related topics? I would say the same for option #1 but that sounds like a massive headache for you. #2 sounds good until you read the "note" lol.
                  The stars would fall from heaven and the gods would faint in horror if diplomats started speaking the truth- Sithel
                  I've got better things to do tonight than die!-Springer
                  "..before my time but Ive been told, you never come back from Copperhead Road"
                  Currently reading: Transformers: Exodus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lucky, can you articulate why you feel so strongly that there should be a standalone DL board? I think someone should state the case, and you seen passionate about it.
                    Michael FalconerDragonlance FAQDragonlance Product ListThe Matter of Theology by Jeff Grubb

                    OSRIC (free PDF)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I can try, I'm not good at expressing myself but I'll give it a shot. I joined in Sept 2009 I believe so I'm by no means in the top tier of veterans. But in that time I noticed, well noticed quickly but appreciation has grow for over the years, the fact that this place is inhabited by old fans, new, and even the creators and I'm my experience that's pretty rare. Aside from a few issues this place is mostly peaceful. I almost never see a negative thing said, and I've never seen one member attack another. That is also quite rare. Let's be honest usually when you get a group of passionate fans together thing escalate quickly. Older fans help.the newer instead of looking down on them. I hope it's ok if I single wheldon out, but dudes a fountain of knowledge and always friendly and happy to share it. This was THE home for DL fans, and maybe I'm just trying to hold onto the past but that was something special. Even when I take a lull from dragonlance, when I come back there's that coming home feeling like "these are my people" ....I know I'm really really bad at explaining myself and feelings and I'm truly sorry for that but I hope you can decipher what I was getting at
                      The stars would fall from heaven and the gods would faint in horror if diplomats started speaking the truth- Sithel
                      I've got better things to do tonight than die!-Springer
                      "..before my time but Ive been told, you never come back from Copperhead Road"
                      Currently reading: Transformers: Exodus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No, that’s cool. I really appreciate your insight.

                        I like this place too, and come here often, mainly to read old posts. I think it’s great DL has a dedicated forum. I like forums, and I want an excuse to fight for it. However, here’s what I see:
                        1. The other forums I am active at have a core of 20+ members who post daily or darn near it. I could name the 20 people off the top of my head. The 20 people have bonded and gelled as a community beyond sharing a common interest. Here, I doubt we have 20 members total that post in a month. I’m not sure I could name 10 people off the top of my head, not 10 people who still post here, not 10 people who have bonded and gelled as a community beyond sharing an interest in DL. (Unless they have and I’m just left out. )

                        2. Most people here are already members on The Piazza; most posts here are double-posted at The Piazza. Guess which version of the thread gets more replies?

                        So I must advocate for a “merger” with The Piazza, which would really just mean importing our database—all or most of it, say the three main forums Novels, Gaming, and Community—into theirs, if they are willing. This will allow our content to remain accessible (viewable, searchable, quotable) and allow it to live on in the context of a larger community which is not going away. I think it’s worth at least finding out if they are willing. Maybe they will give us multiple forums like Mystara has. (I posted some more over on that site about this, since this would affect them, too.)

                        I think there is a theoretical downside, which is, is a DL fan more likely to join a DL forum or a larger “TSR Worlds” forum? Obviously the former, in theory. But in the current state, I think it is a moot question. People aren’t joining here, not really.

                        The upside of Facebook of course is that people are logging into Facebook, so the Dragonlance group(s) bring the conversation to them. We can think of The Piazza in the same way—it’s no Facebook, obviously, but it is a forum, and it has people logging in anyway, people who WILL chime in on DL discussion. We could probably think of other forums that we could “merge into,” but The Piazza basically already exists for this very purposes (it is a “refugee forum” from when the old Wizards.com TSR Worlds forums closed).

                        I’m sad about it; I don’t love the solution; but I see it as the best of all options still open to us. If it is open to us—not sure it is, but I’d like to explore it.
                        Michael FalconerDragonlance FAQDragonlance Product ListThe Matter of Theology by Jeff Grubb

                        OSRIC (free PDF)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dragonhelm View Post
                          2. I create a brand-spanking new DL Forums…

                          Part of me is excited at the idea of a new forum…
                          Let’s go down this road for a minute. Trampas, do you have any concrete ideas on this front? If there is to be any possibility of drumming up interest in a new forum, would you be interested in some open brainstorming? I do think a brand new forum would be more active than the current one. Maybe not hugely, maybe not enough to try, but, where would that threshold be, exactly? How much more active would it have to be to make it worthwhile to try?

                          Do you think DL fandom, or, let’s say, the appeal of DL, is different today than it was when you started this forum? I mean, it is, right? How would this be reflected in the structure of the forums? What sort of ongoing threads/series/drives do you imagine going on there?
                          Michael FalconerDragonlance FAQDragonlance Product ListThe Matter of Theology by Jeff Grubb

                          OSRIC (free PDF)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Falconer View Post
                            Let’s go down this road for a minute. Trampas, do you have any concrete ideas on this front? If there is to be any possibility of drumming up interest in a new forum, would you be interested in some open brainstorming? I do think a brand new forum would be more active than the current one. Maybe not hugely, maybe not enough to try, but, where would that threshold be, exactly? How much more active would it have to be to make it worthwhile to try?
                            I don't know the answer to that.

                            Only 5 people have responded to this thread. 13 logged in viewers have viewed it.

                            Honestly, I think the DL forums need to be added to something else. I don't know if that's a Weis & Hickman fan forum or something like the Piazza. Honestly, the Piazza is an excellent fit.


                            Do you think DL fandom, or, let’s say, the appeal of DL, is different today than it was when you started this forum? I mean, it is, right? How would this be reflected in the structure of the forums? What sort of ongoing threads/series/drives do you imagine going on there?
                            Very different. Back then, there was so much passion. Now, there's nothing new from WotC. No novels, no hope of Weis and Hickman doing anything.

                            The only new thing we have now are Death Saves t-shirts. :(
                            Trampas Whiteman
                            ---DragonHelm--->



                            Long Live the Lance!

                            "Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Dragonlance Nexus!"
                            -David "Big Mac" Shepheard

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For what it's worth; I really like this forum board site and have been coming here since 2012 or 2013.....if it DOES move somewhere else or is 'reborn' somewhere else, if a $ contribution is needed, I can pitch (a little) in as I've been running a game here for years (just ended it actually.....:(....though hopefully in the future, I may run another!)......but I do know 2 things.....

                              1. I have never and will never be on Facebook or Twitter or non message forum board sites....I just don't have the slightest interest in them, so if that's where it migrates too, I'm sorry to say I'll bid you all a very fond adieu and say Thanks so much for running this place!

                              2. I know I'm probably the "old guy" here whining....but if you make a new site and there's only a dozen or so people to start.....what's wrong with that? (I don't know anything about running a website though.....maybe you NEED a certain number of hits or it gets cancelled?) Personally, I'd rather have a 'core' group of people who tend to come here to talk Dragonlance stuff than 1,000 people having 800 different conversations.....but again, apologies for my 'get off my lawn' kind of attitude.

                              I never liked WOTC era DL stuff anyway, so frankly I'm not sweating anything coming from THEM and honestly, as much as I liked Weis and Hickman's Chronicles and Legends and bits and pieces here and there.......I really disliked Summer Flame and most of the stuff set after it....and even some of the stuff they added in the 'updated' Chronicles, I wasn't a huge fan of, so again, I'm not sweating if they don't add anything new either.

                              To me, that leaves stuff like Cam Banks' story about Vanderjack.......these are the kind of stories I like to read....stuff set in the "good time period" (obviously my own opinion.....anything from Pre-Catacylsm thru Legends....I ignore everything afterwards) going over people that were either minor characters in the original novels/modules or (even better) new characters set in these time periods doing the 'untold' parts of the story. (I'd LOVE to read about a group of adventures in the Eastern portion of Ansalon during the War of the Lance for example....likewise, a campaign in this setting would be awesome too). I also enjoy new gaming adventures/campaigns that aren't about Time Travel and its possible effects and could be set in the pre-Catacylsm Dragon Wars for example....something like that.

                              I don't know....just spit ballin' here.....but as a final note; whatever you decide, thanks for running this place!

                              Comment

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