Welcome to Pretendo Network! 👋

I was still experiencing that about 10 hours after that post, I don’t think they managed to change it unfortunately

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I really appreciate the insight anyways to how it was, I wasn’t actively participating and I suppose it was a bit nitpicking, I know some people do have genuine complaints though

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You can enable push notifications and you can be notified of a new threads creation in a forum, it’s in the pinned “Welcome to Discourse” post which I can’t edit at the moment (working on getting that fixed, it’s annoying default Discourse settings).

I’m aware of that feature, but even so, if you aren’t regularly on the forum, notifications can go unnoticed for hours or days. Push notifications on mobile (if it shows a proper popup) can easily get buried among tens, or even hundred of other notifications. As for emails, not everyone wants to receive an email just to tell them that someone posted in a thread. I personally don’t want that junking up my inbox even more.

I get what you mean, but usually forums are the way to get support for stuff.

I completely agree. I have used years old forum posts to solve a lot of issues in the past. But it isn’t very gratifying to me, personally, to help someone here, versus on the Discord server.

I think that might also be related to the different environment, forums make you act more professional and make you think more about your responses, meanwhile you can have some fun with your responses on Discord.

I have never had that issue on the Discord server. I typically try to keep a professional manner when helping people, even at the increase in the length of my messages, but it just feels…different…here. Like there is no room at all to be playful, coy, joking, etc. To me, it feels like you always have to be professional, or you aren’t a quality source of information.

Sorry for the lengthy reply!

Don’t be sorry at all! I enjoy valid criticism and you did very well in explaining all of your points clearly and concisely, where I had failed to do so. Thank you for your insight.

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I think Jon made a mistake and changed the minimum character limit to 20, instead of the maximum replies limit. Quarky had suggested that he change the replies to 20 instead of 10 and I know that the minimum character limit wasn’t that high before.

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Yeah, that might be the case.

A character limit is worth it sometimes anyways to prevent spammy posts but there are bypasses around the character limit and the people here are smart so they’ll figure it out in no time.

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I’ll note that I’ve only spotted a single error-code thread that was locked, which I’ve now moved to support and unlocked - which imo is what should have been done at first, cuz yeah, half the point is to have a single thread for each issue/topic and keep that thread active forever (cc @PN_Jon)

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To be fair, you’re all quite new to Discourse I would imagine?

But yeah, editing a post to change categories is fairly easy. Any chance that editing posts could be allowed forever @PN_quarky? Currently for TL1/basic user, you can’t edit a post after a day of being created (30 for TL3/regular).

Want to edit the welcome to Discourse thread for discobot information.

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I’d like to keep sitewide changes like that via Jon; I don’t actually have much TL myself due to some backend mess (TL4 users can see IP addresses, maybe a GDPR issue…)

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To be fair, you have to be manually promoted for TL4, I think IP addresses are shown to do IP bans since iirc you can do that

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Hi! : D
This place it’s pretty cool : o

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hi this is a pretty good fan revival

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First time here, but just not too often.

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Correct, I agree. I knew about this ability in Discourse but forgot to use it, thank you for taking care of it. I was still in the “Discord forum channels” mindset

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No, I changed what I thought was the relevant setting and when that didn’t work I reverted the change. So what I did the other night is no longer in place

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You also can’t tell if a user has read your messages on Discord, either, to be fair. Also as mentioned Discourse has notifications, and once we sort out the email issue (Discourse requires unique emails, but PNIDs do not, so we fake unique emails using your PID) then you’ll also get email notifications.

Additionally, Discourse DOES have some “real time” functionality. If you’re watching a thread, you can see typing indicators of other users responding to the thread.

As for the “what issue they’re having” part, this is not a platform issue and is a pretty big generalization. You can get the same level of information out of someone here as you could on Discord, minus maybe the reactions (which I’d argue is a feature, not a bad thing. Having to explicitly say “yes this helped” and mark a reply as the answer is much better communication imo, compared to just reacting with a thumbs up for example)

I agree, and to me that’s a good thing. The support forum, both here AND on Discord, were never meant to be “casual”. They were meant for support. What you’re describing is arguably misuse of the Discord forum channel to begin with. There’s a reason why so many companies/projects go with not only forums, but Discourse specifically, for support. Citra, Roblox, Cloudflare, etc.

This is not unique here, plenty of Discord forum threads are locked too. If you’re having an error, and the existing solutions did not fix it, then you should open a new thread for this. Because clearly it’s a different issue, and should be separated from the existing topic.

Keeping them open until a solution is accepted is fine. But in my opinion once a solution is accepted, the thread can be locked. If someone else has the same error, and the existing solution did not work, then that’s a different issue and should be handled as such.

This again is not unique to here. Discord forum threads are also “forever”. If anything forum threads here are more clear, since you can assume that if a thread is still open/active then the issue has not been resolved. If the issue has been resolved, then a message would be marked as the solution. This is a clear indicator that the issue has been solved, and where to look for the solution. You can see this in action on my own post in the official Discourse forum, where I had questions about SSO.

Solution linked on the main post of the thread:

The reply being marked as the solution as well:
Screenshot from 2024-05-11 11-10-55

If there’s a thread with an issue and the accepted solution does not work, then clearly it’s a new issue which is still on-going and so yes another thread is warranted. This is not a bad thing.

Correct, this is a totally separate issue which we are exploring other options for. That is not relevant to the general use of a Discourse forum over Discord.

  1. Yes your forum account is tied to your PNID
  2. There is not really any real personal information inside these forum accounts, it’s only PNID information (your email isn’t even linked, it’s a fake email made from your PID which is already public knowledge)
  3. We don’t use Discourse for hosting. We self host our own instance since Discourse’s paid hosting options are both out of our budget and not sufficient for our needs (we go outside of their general usage limits)
  4. You could make this argument about literally any service/company? You could make this argument about Discord, or Bunny, or Cloudflare, or any of the other companies we use? That’s not really a compelling argument imo. You could even make the argument about us (and in fact that would be more accurate, since Discourse isn’t even the one holding your data. It’s us)

That wouldn’t work. Usernames have to be unique. There can be hundreds, thousands, of the same people with the same Mii name. Not only would that just not work from a functionality standpoint, it would also not work from a usability standpoint (not know who is actually who). In fact, that’s the very reason why the 3DS has a lack of real reporting features, BECAUSE it uses Mii names. That would only be exacerbated if bought somewhere like the forums.

Also, I’ll say this again as my closing statement:

To the people who disagree with using a forum, you do not understand the reason we used a forum to begin with

The simple fact of the matter is that trying to use something like Discord, social media, etc. as a way to provide user support and staff contact is simply inadequate due to how closed off it is. The reliance on Discord thus far for these things is the reason for the move away. For several years now we have, rightfully, been criticized for a lack of accessible contact and support, with the biggest argument being “if you’re banned from the Discord server then you’re locked out of support”. And that’s entirely true! And something we agree with! That kind of closed off support is a BAD thing. Someone being banned from the Discord server should NOT prevent them from getting support for our services in the future, that was ALWAYS a bad thing.

Additionally, some people simply aren’t on Discord for various reasons. Either they don’t know we have a server, can’t use Discord for whatever reason, or simply do not want to agree to Discord’s terms to make an account (which they have the right to do). None of these things should lock users out of support/contact.

With a forum, we are directly contactable to the same level as on Discord (most of the core development do not venture out of our private developer channels unless pinged, so the general channels on Discord are really not a realistic way to contact us) while not locking users to a platform they may not even be able to access.

You can see how people felt about our reliance on Discord based on their reactions to our announcement of the forum:

Screenshot from 2024-05-11 11-25-07
Screenshot from 2024-05-11 11-24-34

It also makes support threads indexable by search engines. Before the forum if someone wanted help with a specific issue, they first had to find and join our Discord (which as already stated, may be the main blocker for some to begin with), then find the support channel (there are lots of channels), then try and search for the error if they can (Discords search for forum channels is atrocious, and often times leads to duplicate threads. Discourse also addresses duplicate threads by showing you suggestions of similar threads when writing yours). With the forum, search engines like Google are now aware of these threads and people can find support with a simple Google search. In fact, this is already the case! If you Google “pretendo sssl not working” on Google right now the second search result (even in a private browsing session) is one of our forum threads. That makes finding support for issues INFINITELY more accessible to users:

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Love how fediverse is the first quote but that’s designed with a decentralised environment so that’s to be expected.

Lots of people do everything in one app and don’t want to leave it unfortunately. I’m already using the forums more than Discord across all servers that I’m in (including those I manage, I get notifications for that on Matrix).

Appreciate the lengthy response though Jon!

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Jon has pretty much said everything I think about forums vs Discord. I also want to link this blog post (and some comments) that goes into a bit more depth about the problems with Discord support. It’s from the perspective of a company offering developer support via Slack, but I think it applies pretty well here too. The benefits of forums are not necessarily for the individuals who are asking questions and giving support; they are for all users, many of whom you will never interact with because they just saw the answer and left.

It seems like the core issue here is synchronous vs asynchronous communication. It sounds like a lot of people including Maisie are more comfortable with synchronous support, and that’s completely understandable. It feels faster and more personal, and it just feels nice to actively help a real person while chatting with them. However, I believe that the long-term benefits of asynchronously answering support questions here on the forum, such as building up a public knowledge base of questions and answers, are more important than the speed and convenience of Discord.

Finally, I observed the opposition/arguments that happened on Discord soon after the forum was announced, and it was clear that the strongest negative reactions to the forum were coming from the Support Helpers. It was probably a mistake to start the forum without first informing them, but a discussion between them and the devs to hear and respond to their concerns could still be helpful. There are probably some technical things that can be implemented to make the phase-out smoother - maybe a Bandwidth command to prompt someone to ask their question on the forum similar to the piracy warning?

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I will say, I’m not actually positive who implemented this “Support Helper” system. It’s not a role I created, nor did I ever assign it to anyone. I was unaware of how many people had the role until after the forums launch.

I know the idea of a “Support Helper” was brought up by some of the Discord mods, and I believe I commented on the idea, but I don’t recall ever actually green lighting it directly (it was part of a much larger list of suggestions which were being discussed) or seeing a discussion with the larger dev team about its implementation.

Of course I could be misremembering (I’ve been known to have a bad memory), but I don’t recall when or who implemented this.

That being said, to my knowledge the “Support Helper” role was purely visual. An indicator that this person gives good support/is active about it. This kind of role is something I was already planning to bring back here as a group, likely starting off with @GamersInternatio.

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I will say that commits were made a day before the forum opening suggesting it but I don’t think anyone noticed if they didn’t see my comments since I’m quite familiar with Discourse.

I thought it was Support Helpers complaining the most too, thanks for the insight (I don’t look at Discord 24/7, I have myself on a one hour time limit on my phone).

Talking about bandwidth, I should have brought this up in my DM with Jon and pinklimes, but I think it would be great if Bandwidth is ported to the forum in some way as a bot with the error code information.

Citra were using bots for reading logs etc iirc

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This was already the plan once I learn how Discourse plugins work.

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