A few nice features but probably worsens not solves many of the things that make forums less relevant going forward.
Software does not create the content, administrators have a responsibility here to engage users to create good content, either via having an engaging topic, or kickstarting activity via controversy or whatever. How you choose to organize your content can differ, but xF does a pretty good job of making the content accessible for search engines. Also proper use of thread prefix, categories and subforums will make your content more easy to find.To impress guests and search engines .... excellent content must be created and easily found.
Forums, also called discussion boards, are meant for that sort of behavior, its called a discussion. Whether or not there is an interest for that is kind of irrelevant, cause you are saying that forums needs to be something else in order to succeed, which just isn't the case. Maybe you are just looking for something else other than a forum.In 2013, forums just encourage back and forth banter which often isn't good content.