As we intimated last month, SOE is finally putting its proprietary forum software out to pasture and moving to modern off-the-shelf forum software — XenForo — which is the creation of ex-vBulletin developers. EverQuest completed their transition to their new forums just prior to their Rain of Fear expansion and now EverQuest II has its own move-in date: November 9th.
Timing is Everything
But wait, you’re thinking, November 9th is smack dab in the middle of the Chains of Eternity beta! Well the EQ2 team have thought of that, and will be keeping the CoE beta forums up and running even as the new forums launch. This way the necessary conversions about Beta can continue without holding back the forum transition. I can only guess that November 9th was a date that Platform could commit to, while any closer to the expansion was too risky with everything else going on. Either way, keeping the existing Beta forums up seems a viable compromise. The new forums are long overdue.
What About the Posts?
Vanguard was the first game to have its forum transition announced, and with that news came the reality that all the old posts would only be archived for a limited time. Nor, it turned out, would any existing posts be migrated into the new forum software. The idea of starting from scratch was not appealing to me and so, sensing that the same would happen with EQ2, I spent the weeks leading up to SOE Live writing and testing an “SOE Forum Harvester” script. Even before I went to Vegas, I’d managed to backup some 40% of the EQ2 forums.
Since we have several months before there is any threat of the old EQ2 forums going away, I have every confidence that I will be able to make a clean download of the entire EQ2 forums (at least the public ones). In the coming weeks, I will unveil the address where the EQ2 public forum archive will reside. I can tell you this — it’s sure nice to be able to search the 790,000 posts I’ve captured thus far and get accurate search results in just a couple of seconds.
The Official Announcement
Here’s the official announcement from Dexella on the current wibbly-wobbly EQ2 Forums:
As you may have heard through the grapevine, EverQuest II is getting new forums. We are excited to announce that we have an official date for our transition to this awesome new forum system that will run smoother, faster, and have great new features included.
Our forum transition date is Friday, November 9th, 2012!
As a result of this transition, users of our current forums will need to create a new account once the new forums go live.
To help you understand this transition, here are answers to a few commonly asked questions (shamelessly stolen from Piestro who stole them from Brasse…):
1. We will be archiving the old forums as read-only for a period of at least several months (several being more than two). This should allow everyone plenty of time to retreive what they want and need from the old forums. We are NOT going to keep them forever, but we’ll provide 30 days notice before we do take them offline. For EverQuest II, the only part of the old forums that will remain open will be the Chains of Eternity Beta forums. You will be able to continue to post your feedback in the Beta forums through expansion launch. At that time, they will transition to read-only like the rest of the old forums.
2. For those of you who want to copy the ENTIRE old forums content for perpetuity, feel free to do so. (Some of you have started doing this already!) While we technically “own” the content, it is already publicly available and contains no private information.
3. Forumites will need to register for the new forums. Sorry guys, there is no way around this as we cannot manually transfer your data. Yes, this means you will have to request your “handle” again; these forum names will necessarily be issued on a first-come, first-served basis, as we have no way for folks to reserve names in advance.
4. For the first two weeks, if someone “steals” your handle, and especially if this is done with the intent to impersonate you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Forum Admin will be able to look up old forum data and make a call on an individual basis on the request. There is only one Forum Admin, so please be patient with your request if an issue does arise.
We look forward to seeing you on the new forums!
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