Stratics Forums Upgrade, 21 February

  stratics pocket watch imageIt’s time!   

Stratics Forums will be undergoing a major upgrade in the near future that may affect aesthetics and features. Most of these changes will be mitigated over time, but we want you to have as much information ahead of time so that you’ll know what to expect. Stratics is excited to upgrade our Xenforo based forums for our community.  Taylor stated it best in his post in our existing forums which we share with you here. Please keep us in mind during our downtime and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for updates!

 

The Challenge: We Were First

Stratics Forums was one of the earliest adopters of “XenForo,” a lightweight and cutting-edge forum software designed by former IB developers (i.e., creators of vBulletin). It was only after our migration that other big players followed, including but not limited to: IGN (80 million posts), DigitalPoint (17 million posts), Sony Online Entertainment (e.g., Planetside 2), Red 5 (FireFall), Portalarium (Shroud of the Avatar), etc.

The only drawback to leading this trend is that, as an early adopter, we installed the earliest version of XenForo (version 1.0). We installed several addons, themes, and custom-build functionalities for XenForo 1.0 to ensure that we were providing the best support possible to our community.

In its most recent iteration, XenForo 1.3 (beta) software has been completely rebuilt to improve security, stability, and agility. As a result, many of the earliest themes and addons are no longer compatible with the new template system. Many of these addons have been updated for 1.3 support, but some have not.

The Solution: Research and Testing

In anticipation of our upgrade, we have been researching and testing themes and addons to make the transition as seemless as possible.

What’s Staying the Same?

In terms of themes, I will personally be redesigning the UO Classic theme for 1.3 compatibility. The Scroll theme is still supported by the author and is expected to also survive the transition.

In terms of functionality, we expect virtually all front-end features to be upgraded or replaced. We are particularly sensitive to the features offered under our “Stratics Pro” upgrade. These features will be upgraded, but in words of one addon author, “1.1 to 1.3 is a big jump.” We’ll work through any bugs in conjunction with addon authors–or in some cases, build our own replacement solutions. Should any of these features have temporary outages, we’ll be giving all existing Stratics Pro users a free month extension to their subscriptions.

What’s Changing?

The biggest change will be the decommissioning of our most popular theme, Animate. The theme author has decided not to provide any updates to the theme. Also, many less popular themes, like Flexile, Blackend, and Class will remain behind.

That being said, I think you’ll like our two new default themes even better. In addition to UO Classic and Scroll, we will have a dark and light version of one of the most sophisticated XenForo themes ever built. Both of these themes will allow users to perform on-the-fly color, font, and background changes with the click of a button. You can make the theme look and feel exactly the way you want!

Timeline

On Friday night, 21 February 2014 at around 11:59 PM EST, we will close Stratics Forums and begin the upgrade process. We’ll work through the night with hopes of re-opening sometime on Saturday. Throughout this process, you’ll be able to follow updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts.

I Have Questions/Concerns/Ideas!

Please feel invited to voice questions or concerns via e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

 

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