We hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season!
We are very excited to share some news with you about the latest updates to our site and give some insight on our plans for the near future.
So without further adieu, let's get right into it!
TAKING OUT THE TRASH
The New Team of Weapons and Tactics is proud to announce that we have fully ditched the software that ended up plaguing our site toward during the last several months of 2019. Invision Power Service's Community Suite— the core software responsible for version 7.x of our network— was an exciting new adventure for us when we first began licensing its use about five years ago. It integrated our forums with the rest of our entire site, sported a sleek modern look and feel that made members of our community feel at ease, enabled more staff members to easily add content to our site without any intensive training, thanks to its user-friendly and modular design, and made available a slew of many other custom features and little projects that we had in the works. But over the years it continuously got more bloated, gradually became slower, and eventually became so unstable that it randomly yet consistently brought our website down repeatedly for days at a time.
Despite numerous attempts that our I.T. staff (and even one of our Chief Technology Officers) made to fix these instability issues, the heart of all those issues remained the responsibility the developers of the software suite. After continued correspondence, it was clear that their support staff were unable to help, short of suggesting that we start our community completely over and force everyone to re-register again, which was an absolute insult and completely unacceptable. We quickly realized that the software's initial license cost of $730.00 USD (and recurring annual cost of $210.00 USD) was— in our humble opinion— not worth the cost.
On December 23rd 2019, we manually brought our website offline for maintenance in preparation to ditch the rubbish and move on to greener pastures.
DBMXPCA TECHNOLOGIES & XENFORO FORUM SOFTWARE
We're proud to announce the new installment of our network, version 8, powered by software from DBMXPCA Technologies® for the primary front- and back-end areas of our site, and XenForo® Forum Software for the community forums and social arm of our network.
TRANSITION TO XENFORO
We wanted to quickly touch-base with the overall result of us transferring from Invision Power Service's Community Suite to XenForo®'s Forum Software. Migrations like these can be very touchy, as some of us know from many years of experience. Luckily for us, all the important stuff was transferred just fine— including all threads, posts, and basic user account data. Some ancillary data, such as attachments and user avatars were not transferred. In addition, individual pages (such as those of our game departments, member services center, etc) are not compatible with the new system directly— data from those must be manually extracted.
REBUILDING OUR SITE WITH DBMXPCA TECHNOLOGIES
We will be performing manual extraction for some of the pages that we had in the past where the content can remain unchanged. For the vast majority of our pages however, we will be redesigning them from the ground-up with newer and more relevant content, as part of the process of us updating our entire website. There are many pages that must be rebuilt, redesigned, and updated so we ask for everyone's patience and understanding as we work to over the next few weeks and months to get all of the content on our website updated and put together.
The great news is, the technologies being used for the areas of our site outside of our forums are simple, reliable, and scalable by design— so we won't have to deal with our site going down for hours or days anymore due to a slow, bloated, and unstable system!
PASSWORD RESET REQUIRED FOR ALL ACCOUNTS
As an extended security measure, passwords for all user accounts in our forums have been securely randomized to prevent unauthorized access due to old passwords. We don't regularly enforce password expirations (and we never will) but this process is customary when we do major migrations, for the sake of the security for all account owners. For what it's worth: even if we didn't do this customarily, old passwords would not have worked anyway due to the differences in password generation algorithms in the old and new forum software.
DO NOT WORRY
All this means is that all users will have to use the Forgot Password feature for the first time to initiate a password reset before logging in. This only needs to be done one time— once reset, you can login with your newly-set password.
HIGHLIGHTS: NEW COMMUNITY FEATURES
We wanted this transition to be as smooth and seamless to our community as possible.
To help ease our community with these changes, we've added a number of features to our forums for everyone to enjoy!
SUPER FAST TECHNOLOGIES
Our site is now much faster, thanks to multiple hardware upgrades and our new frontend web software that provides super fast web browsing, powered by DBMXPCA Technologies.
We're intorducing an all-new chat platform for our community. This new feature helps to serve as another alternative to other popular chat clients such as Discord, TeamSpeak, or Skype. For those who don't want to be bothered to create a new account on another third-party service provider, we hope that this new chat is an appreciated addition.
Also, for those who enjoy exercising their right to privacy— our chat is all self-hosted on-premise. So you can say what you want, and not have to worry about anyone else spying on your private conversations.
DISCORD, SPOTIFY, AND GIPHY INTEGRATION
Link your Discord and get your groups and ranks synchronized with our site, get updates on important announcements directly via discord, and more!
Connect your Spotify account and view what people are listening to by hovering over their name throughout the forum, listen to the music other users are playing, and view song titles and artists in the Spotify overlay.
Quickly and search for animated GIFs directly from the site to spice up your posts!
FREE ANIMATED AVATARS FOR EVERYONE
Upload your favorite animated avatar and watch it play anywhere throughout our community!
COVER IMAGES FOR PROFILES AND POSTS
Personalize your profile or topics by uploading custom cover images!
AND MORE TO COME
In addition to these, we plan to steadily roll-out new features over time to both our website and community, to add some dimensions to our site. So keep on the lookout for new features as they're added!
ONGOING CONSTRUCTION AND UPCOMING UPDATES
We have been very hard at work to transition our website to both of these new platforms: countless hours and many sleepless nights of intense configuration and testing have been performed to ensure the fastest and smoothest possible transition for our community. Needless to say, we hope everyone enjoys our new platform— even if it takes a bit to get used to!
In the upcoming weeks and months, we will be working on rebuilding the rest of our site. We hope to have everyone's cooperation and patience while we do this as its a process that takes a while to finesse.
We have some other exciting updates exclusive to official members of the New Team of Weapons and Tactic in the works as well, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, please enjoy the site and feel free to let us know what you think! Questions and comments are welcome— be sure to check out the official announcement where you can see what others have to say, and even join the discussion if you wish to do so.