Welcome to the Dented Helmet's Forum Upgrade


Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
Greetings fellow TDH members!

(First let me say that I am largely ripping this announcement off from another site (AnandTech) who made this same upgrade and documented the process thoroughly. ;))

In the interest of substantially improving your experience and security, we have migrated our forum software from vBulletin to XenForo (as we have done for Predatorium and the 405th previously). We made this move for a number of reasons:
  • Security is improved greatly in the new platform, and as mentioned recently, we also rolled out SSL as an additional security measure
  • Development in XenForo is more active and is based on a modern framework
  • The learning curve for you is tiny, as XenForo was built by the previous developers of vBulletin
  • Extra built-in features like spam prevention that are stricter and more effective
  • Easier and more intuitive platform for both new and veteran members of the community
  • The add-on ecosystem for new features and functionality is larger
  • Significant increase in site speed and load times
  • Responsive design that scales with resolution and mobile-friendly interface
Our goal with this transition is to provide a stable base platform, so we’ve endeavored to keep any major, customized changes apart from the platform to a minimum. The theme itself is simpler and cleaner to allow you to acclimate. We’re holding off on any massive thematic or extraneous feature changes (keeping them to a small number), and going as vanilla as possible to make the move a smooth one, as switching to a new platform is a major undertaking and we’re resolved to keep your content safe above all else.

We know that jumping platforms can be disruptive to your routine; familiarity and comfort of habits are as important in online communities as they are in real life. We are making this change to safeguard the continued growth of the Dented Helmet. While the migration is complete, there may be some lingering issues. During the transition, please bear with us patiently as we work diligently to work out any remaining gremlins in the system.

If you encounter a bug with the new platform, please respond in THIS thread and we will address them as quickly as possible.

AA

To learn more about some of the big changes and how they might affect you, continue reading below:

The Account Page
Before you start exploring the forums proper, check out your Account Page first! You can reach your Account Page at any time by clicking on your username at the top right corner of the page. You'll find many new features and options to customize on your Account Page.

Account Page Quick Links
There are many handy quick links located throughout the new forum interface. If you ever need to access your account settings simply mouse over your username at the top right of the screen.

Two-Step Verification
We now have Two-Step Verification built in. Secure yourself and your passwords. Highly, highly, recommend you enable this feature. Here's a direct link to the two-step verification page. Click it. Enable it. Be secure.

Account Page User Menu
The Account Page User Menu is located on the left hand side of your Account Page and contains links to settings, options, as well as forum feeds and alerts.

Status Message
You now have the ability to create a status message for your profile page. Simply type up to 140 characters and press enter. You now have a status message!

Your Alerts
Alerts are notifications that alert you to happenings around the forum. You can find alerts both on your Account Page or by mousing over the flag in the upper right corner of the page. Alerts can range from receiving a like to receiving a trophy or you can even be alerted when another user quotes your message. To customize your Alerts check out your Alert Preferences page.

People You Follow
You can follow any user to keep track of their posts. Think of followers of friends who really like what you have to say. The list of users you follow will populate this list. You can follow a user by clicking on their username and selecting "Follow."

People You Ignore
You can ignore users as well. Ignoring a user will result in all of their posts being hidden. To ignore someone click on their avatar and click on the Ignore link on their member card.

Watched Threads and Watched Forums
Subscriptions have been replaced by Watched Threads and Watched Forums.

You have the option to watch any thread you like and also to receive emails when there are new posts in that thread. To do this go to the thread you want to watch and click on "Watch Thread" in the top right of the thread.

You will receive either an e-mail notification or forum alert whenever someone posts in a "watched thread." You also have the ability to get alerts and updates for new posts in forums by clicking "Watch Forum" located at the top right of each forum.

Conversations
Private messages are now called "Conversations." Most other boards split private messages into an "Inbox" and "Sent." In contrast, "Conversations" are threaded. All private messages to a user or users appear in a single thread, and you will always be able to see when your conversation was last read. You can add other members to your conversation and remove yourself from conversations as well.

How do I report a conversation?
Go to the message you want to report and click the report button at the bottom of the conversation.

How do I invite more people into a conversation?
If you are able to invite more participants into a conversation, there will be an Invite More link in the right hand sidebar.

You can invite more people into conversations you have started, or in those where the conversation starter has ticked the box to allow it.

If you are starting a conversation and do not want the recipient(s) to invite others in, do not tick this option.

How do I receive emails for conversation replies?
Click Contact Details in your user menu. Tick the box for 'Receive email when a new conversation message is received.

What does locking a conversation do?
When you start a conversation, there is an option to lock it. This means that no one can respond to your conversation.

Search
You asked and we listened. Search on the Dented Helmet forums has gotten better, a whole lot better. First off, we expanded, improved, and consolidated search into one single search box. It is now possible to search profile posts and members from the main search system via the Search Profile Posts and Search Everything tabs. You can also search within a thread, something which wasn’t possible before. The content type is now indicated in the search results, as well as any matching member names which are displayed in a sidebar. To search simply click the search box located underneath your username.

Trophies
The Trophies system rewards members with virtual trophies and points for meeting certain criteria. It is also linked to the user title ladder, replacing the more traditional post count method. Trophies can be rewarded based on likes and message count.

Notices
This is a new system which enables us to target different groups and members, to ensure pertinent information is seen. Some notices will be visible when logged out and some when logged in. In most cases, notices which are visible when logged in can be permanently dismissed by clicking the X in the top right corner. If there is more than one notice being displayed at the same time, the scrolling effect can be halted by hovering over the notice. You can also click on the notice tab to display specific notices.

Likes
Just like Facebook, you can easily "LIKE" a post by clicking the Like button to the bottom right of the post.

Member Tagging
Also like Facebook, you can easily tag another member in a post by typing the @ symbol followed by their name (no space between the symbol and name). This will alert the member that you tagged them.
 
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Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
While we have worked very hard to bring across as much of your data as possible, many of you may notice that your avatar didn't come across. If you old avatar didn't meet Xenforo's minimum image requirements, the avatar didn't migrate. This is an opportunity to create a new look for yourself, or simply refresh your old avatar.
 

tennantlim

Active Hunter
Preferred Vendor
Looks great! Thank you to everyone involved in the upgrades.

I tried making some changes to my profile but it seems the changes won't get saved.
 

Grimstuff

Active Hunter
I think something is mis-configured with the image embedding. Random images that used to be rendered as thumbnails are being rendered as full-size now, but only some of them. Makes for uploaded galleries in posts really scroll-heavy to browse through now. Pretty much every photo-heavy thread is borderline unbrowsable now.

My build thread for demonstration


Also, it's a bit hard to tell posts apart with this theme. Most forums uses alternating white and grey backgrounds for each post, distinguising em more, everything's pure white on here though.
 

Mike M.

Well-Known Hunter
Community Staff
I like it. It's very clean looking, on both my phone and pc. Though I agree with Grimstuff that an alternating background for each post would help to easily distinguish separate posts. The only possible bug I've noticed so far is when using my phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 5) there seems to be a delay from when the page finishes loading and when I can actually clink the links. Other than that, the only problem I see is on the Gallery page, finding the reference libraries isn't very intuitive, while the old system did have it's problems, the initial navigation felt smoother.

More questions and observations:
Mod Staff getting set back up again soon?
Signatures don't appear to be active yet.
 
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Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
Hope the banner graphic returns in some fanshion or another. That helm looked pretty cash up there.

We are still working on the header, but it is very unlikely that we will go back to a heavy-graphic based banner at the top due to the way it works with the responsive design. The previous site design was a fixed width, but this one changes based on what type of device you are own and it forces us to use a relatively simple banner.
 

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
I think something is mis-configured with the image embedding. Random images that used to be rendered as thumbnails are being rendered as full-size now, but only some of them. Makes for uploaded galleries in posts really scroll-heavy to browse through now. Pretty much every photo-heavy thread is borderline unbrowsable now.

My build thread for demonstration


Also, it's a bit hard to tell posts apart with this theme. Most forums uses alternating white and grey backgrounds for each post, distinguising em more, everything's pure white on here though.

Something isn't operating exactly as it should for sure. Let me take a look into that.

The layout of the page doesn't allow for alternating colors (as it is all one block), but we could make the separating line more obvious.
 

Art Andrews

Community Founder
Community Staff
The only possible bug I've noticed so far is when using my phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 5) there seems to be a delay from when the page finishes loading and when I can actually clink the links.

I don't have a Galaxy, but let me see if I can recreate this.

Other than that, the only problem I see is on the Gallery page, finding the reference libraries isn't very intuitive, while the old system did have it's problems, the initial navigation felt smoother.

I still have a bit of cleanup to do there that will help, but there are a few things I don't love about the navigation as well. Will be working on it.

Mod Staff getting set back up again soon?

Yes. Right now it is just Scott and I but we will have the rest setup by EoW

Signatures don't appear to be active yet.

Signatures no longer appear below posts, but within a user's profile.
 
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