With our Steam launch around the corner and the much anticipated launch of our fourth card set ‘Primal Dawn’ just a tiny bit further down the road, we have another exciting announcement to make.
On the heels of our campaign update ‘Chronicles of Entrath’, we dropped the beta tag for HEX. As Cory explained, this was not meant to signal a “feature complete” status by any means and we would always continue developing the game, add content and change the infrastructure.
That last point is exactly what today’s announcement is about: as a slightly delayed element of dropping the beta tag, we are going to merge the two official forums for HEX into one. We have been working on overcoming the technical challenges behind the merger of two different forum softwares with different requirements behind the scenes and are now confident that we will be able to realize our plan on short notice. More on that below!
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, it had been in our sights for a while already and we have always been committed to providing our community the best experience possible. Having a state of the art forum with a neat design is definitely part of that. Secondly, we are launching Steam and want to welcome our new fellow card-slingers into the game appropriately, with all of us in one place to greet them and help out when needed. Also, the current state of two boards with vastly different styles and locations just wasn’t cutting it anymore.
Easily the most visible changes will be the new forum software ‘WotLabs 4.1’ along with a fresh approach to the old design. The new forums will be a unified hub for our community, serving and supporting all of HEX’s languages – including our newly released Portuguese and Russian localization. Instead of the old, slightly unwieldy dropdown sections, you can simply choose which language you wish to see and the forum will display the appropriate content. Easy as that!
We always have been working with community members to create plug-ins made especially for TCG players. Examples of this are the card hover script or the overview of currently active streamers, helping you to find someone to watch when you feel the itch. Our plug-ins are very customizable and we would love to hear your feedback or ideas for more.
The biggest change however will be the way we handle forum access: a large part of our work has been to connect your game login to the forum software. For those uninitiated in the forum jungle, that’s what the fancy engineers call single sign-on, or SSO for short. This means you won’t have to remember two different logins in the future, as your game login will also log you into the forums.
Unfortunately, this means that we can’t carry over the old forum accounts, neither from the HEX Entertainment nor the Gameforge boards. This also means that we will not be able to keep the current individual post counters; it was not possible to maintain the post counters for users from both forum softwares and we decided it would not be fair to grant that privilege to only one user group. Thus, when the merger is completed, we will all start fresh. We realize that a massive post counter is something akin to a badge of honor, something to show off one’s involvement in the community. We are exploring options to create a badge system under which we would be able to grant players a ‘beta badge’ if they were active in one of two old forums before the merger snapshot.
Finally, due to the game and forum accounts now being linked and Gameforge handling the account administration, the hosting of the new boards will be taken over by Gameforge.
Let’s tackle the most important issue first: the content stays! Even though we are not continuing the old forum accounts, all the content will be carried over in the snapshots of our two respective boards. This was, in fact, the very first issue we tackled to make sure the content you worked so hard to compile, discuss, create and show is still there when the move is completed.
The forums will still have elements reminiscent of the old board from HEX Entertainment and maintain the majority of its structure. As far as the design of the old Gameforge board, we have scrapped that completely and are integrating seamlessly into the new joint forum.
You will also find the very same people on the board (and more!) as everyone from HEX Entertainment, Gameforge, the ‘Nobles’ and the ‘Team’lers’ will still be there to jump into any discussion and answer questions or make an important announcement – just like this one!
(Or frankly put: “WIIFM, What’s in it for me?”)
You, the player, will get a lot more out of HEX with a larger and broader community – the more the merrier! With this move, we will bring our international community into the existing one. This focuses the community efforts in one place, it allows for a consolidation of community initiatives and discussions.
We, as developer and publisher, can finally serve you in a much more concise, coordinated and collaborative way through one channel. Have a question in the middle of the European night? Surely there’s someone from across the pond to dash in to help. An early riser and feel like talking HEX before work on the North American West Coast? You’ll be sure to find fellow theorycrafters from the old world in the new hub.
Soon, in fact almost immediately! As we are preparing the last steps, such as setting up the target forum and database or closing the existing forums, we expect the actual transfer to start this coming Sunday, April 17th, and last until Monday evening (CET) / afternoon (PDT).
We have prepared a quick image guide on how the new forums will work with the single sign-on (SSO) we’ve talked about in this article. Coincidentally, this will also give you an early preview of the layout and design, while we’re tinkering with it over the weekend. Here you go:
You’ll find the new login button at the top left corner of the forum. Click it!
Clicking the login button brings up the login pop-up for the forum. It might look a tad confusing at first glance, but it’s actually quite simple. Check this out:
The Login form at the top of the pop-up is only for us: HEX Entertainment and Gameforge employees who actually need another level of access to the forums. Nothing for you to worry about.
The Third-Party Login is for you! (Red Arrow!) Click on Gameforge Website Login.
If you are logged into the website already, the forum will briefly reload and you will be logged into the forums as well. Easy as that! If you are not logged into the website, the Third-Party Login will actually require you to manually login here first; this will bring up this screen:
You should only ever see this screen if you are not logged into the website already when clicking the Third-Party Login option Gameforge Website Login.
Once the login is completed – either manually or the Third-Party option – you will see your in-game name at the top left corner:
From here you can access your forum profile and also adjust the display language for your forum experience. And that’s it folks, the initial login guide for our upcoming, shiny new forums.
Game on, everyone.