One of the features I really liked on the old.old.forums (henceforth referred to as Mk.1 forums) were the graphic 12k or whatever signatures players had. It really gave the threads some splash and gave you a little insight into the personality of the players you were talking to. It also let players inject a little color into the forums.
(new users cannot post images… so much for some examples, eh?)
I really think you guys at CCP should consider this. Very few players used the Mk.2 forums. The joke, as you are well aware, was that the EvE forums were on reddit. The Mk.2 design was pretty slick. These forums are bland bland bland. I didn’t use the Mk.2 forums nearly as much as I did the Mk.1. I’ll tell you straight up I’m going to be abandoning the Mk.3. Talk about a missed opportunity in design.
You guys know EvE is a game, right? The people who play this game are “gamers”. EvE is fun. That’s why gamers play EvE. I don’t see how it makes any design sense to extract the fun from the forums. If your objective is to draw people to the forums, you are thinking in the opposite direction required to achieve that.
I’ll approach this another way: Why would you come to the EvE forums rather than reddit? How are these forums providing your players a unique or interesting experience? You need to think about what you are offering your audience when you are building a new site. Let’s go through a few bullet points and look at it from the player perspective.
CCP offers forum users unique/exclusive news and devblogs
No. you don’t. Every devblog, news article, or significant dev responce is simulcast to reddit. Your devs and community managers do this themselves, because they understand their audience (specifically, where they are getting EvE updates from).
CCP has integrated the forums into the game
Yes, you have. Pretty impressive technical work there imho. I can check my EvE mail, and… well… that’s about it. However, I can also do that in-game. So if I want to visit a forum that has by far the most users I can go to reddit and just check my mail in game. This is what your players are doing now.
The Mk.1, 2, & 3 forums are less anonymous
This is it. This is really the only draw. You can come on these forums which have the by-design feature that lets a capsuleer speak for their alliance or corporation. We, for the most part, know who’s who on reddit too, but here you know who everybody who wants to be identified actually is in-game. This is about communication. Here you can communicate officially as your player. This is all you have here, CCP.
…and what else? Somebody post another bullet point. I’m all out of bullet points. Do you have any?
If you want to draw users, you need to focus on how players can uniquely communicate. You are offering very little here. Did I mention these forums are bland af? Let players express themselves a little bit. You’ve relaxed the forum rules in an effort to draw in more players. They are still not as relaxed as the rules on reddit. You need to actually compare the two if you want to provide a superior user experience in some way. This “upgrade” is simply not going to be enough to change user behavior. Not even close.
You can’t remove features and call it an upgrade. Your players are asking for this… I know I’m not alone. I can’t wrap my head around your decision here. I guess whoever is in charge is just too much of a design expert to consider input, and is obviously far too good to change their mind.
Good luck with your… upgrade.