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-   -   How welcoming are the forums? (http://forum.sfgame.us/showthread.php?t=5973)

spiny norman 06-08-2012 06:22 AM

How welcoming are the forums?
 
Given the hundreds of thousands of accounts on S and F, I was surprised when I arrived here just over a month ago at how dead the forums are. Clearly, this has not always been the case, as there is a huge archive of past threads which can be a daunting barrier to a new player.

I realize that when a game has been around for a few years there are unlikely to be too many questions that haven't been asked before. Finding where that question was asked and answered, however, can be a frustrating process. For example, yesterday someone asked what a red quest meant. The question was rapidly answered, along with the same statement that I have seen with most of the other questions that have been asked recently: something to the affect that "this question has been asked many times before. please use the search function".

well, I tried as an experiment searching "red quest" (without the quotes) and could find no thread on the topic in the first 25 listed. It seems when you search "red quest" without the quotes, the search function searches just "quest".

My point is that repeatedly telling new members that their question has been "asked and answered" is most unwelcoming. It would be one thing if these noob questions were flooding the forum, crowding out other discussion, but that is not the case. There are at most a couple of noob questions a day out of a total of maybe half a dozen. Certainly not heavy lifting given the number of mods.

Has anyone suggested creating a sticky thread for noob questions where people could ask simple questions and get a quick response without the fear of being slapped down for being a noob? Something like "noob questions: no question too stupid?" And I apologize if this has been asked before. No, I didn't search it.

Vizari 06-08-2012 06:55 AM

Forums are usually like this. Look at the Steam forums, while obviously loads more active than the S&F one, they also don't move super fast considering the 40-50 million users it contains.

While S&F might appear to have hundreds of thousands of accounts, most of those are inactive. Currently 135799 accounts on s2. (which clearly has been cut down a lot as there were a lot more), maybe like 20k of them are above level 10, of those about 5k are above 50. A third of the accounts seem to have been played for maybe a day, if that.

Cross-server you'll find a lot of players who are active amongst multiple servers. So those might be an extra 100k accounts, they might be just 20k players. So, the player base isn't as big as you might think.

Either way, to your unwelcoming question. I've seen plenty of posts that say that it has already been answered, but almost all those post either answer again or link to the answer.

Also, it's not like they have to sift through 50k posts. More often than not, they could find an answer within half a minute.

bobo baggins 06-08-2012 07:26 AM

It is not that anyone is being rude when we say this question has been answered before it is that it has been already and showing you where it is at.

I have found that using the advanced search and using the search title only helps narrow down the results you get.

Another reason we say use the search function is by asking again it just makes it that much harder for ppl to find the info they are looking for.

Gynx 06-08-2012 10:38 AM

I am not a mod, but hopefully have offered some insight from time to time.
I dont mind answering questions, even if they are somewhere on the forums...ala the red quest or similar...everyone is new at some point or another and while much of the game is straightforward, and maybe many of the questions have been asked and answered (repeatedly), there are always new ideas, hints, things being added or moved around in the game based upon requests or the developer's whim..and each person should have different experiences to offer should those questions be a wee bit more vague (ala..should I go for gold or xp..etc).

Enjoy your gaming here

spiny norman 06-08-2012 10:55 AM

that's why I suggested a thread for noob questions. When I wondered about red quests I asked in guild chat. It took a couple of hours to get an answer, but no big deal as it was not an urgent issue. If there were a single thread for noob questions, people who are not in guilds could get answers and perhaps connect with other members without feeling embarrassed and without cluttering up the forum with lots of redundant threads.

Vizari 06-08-2012 12:16 PM

Really, though, people don't care to look around.

Repeatedly I've seen the same question been asked 5+ times within a few days, with clear topics about that subject on the front page.

The majority NEVER searches for even a second, but rather just spams the forum with their questions.

spiny norman 06-08-2012 03:30 PM

then refer them to the noob thread where they can spam to their heart's content, without bothering those who wish to keep the forum pristine and post-free. As it has become.

Darstard 06-08-2012 03:51 PM

I get where you're going, spiny, but referring them to the noob thread is quite similar to referring them to the search function. Anything but a polite answer to their question will seem rude if folks want to read it that way.

Here's the issue with search and the forum archives. People like forums because they're interactive. Searching them and reading stuff is not as interesting as feeling you're participating by posting things. You also generally get questions answered faster by asking rather than searching - much like real life. The other side of that is the problem is that folks DO get tired of seeing the same questions over and over again.

Maybe we should just remember that everyone was a noob once, sometimes searches don't find the answers that are in the archives and if you're grumpy, don't post!

DominicS 06-08-2012 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darstard (Post 43972)
I get where you're going, spiny, but referring them to the noob thread is quite similar to referring them to the search function. Anything but a polite answer to their question will seem rude if folks want to read it that way.

Here's the issue with search and the forum archives. People like forums because they're interactive. Searching them and reading stuff is not as interesting as feeling you're participating by posting things. You also generally get questions answered faster by asking rather than searching - much like real life. The other side of that is the problem is that folks DO get tired of seeing the same questions over and over again.

Maybe we should just remember that everyone was a noob once, sometimes searches don't find the answers that are in the archives and if you're grumpy, don't post!

Damn, it's like you are in my head! :ai: Well said, Dastard!:welldone:

kiwi div 06-09-2012 01:52 AM

I'm with spiny normon on this one. After joining the other day and asking what i thought was a good question, i did get the 'try searching first' reply.
If new people are to join the easiest way for them to participate is to ask questions however many times others have read them.
No one is forced to read or reply to any posts. All forums suffer from this and spiny norman is the only one to suggest something constructive to satisfy the long time forum contributors. :)


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