How should I organize this? Need input..

Frode789

Well-known member
Okay.. So I'm working on a new project, and I need some help on the best way to organize my board game forums.

I have about 15 standard forums, which is visible on the forum index. That's ok.

Then comes the database of board games, which will consist of thousands of games eventually. Each game in my database needs to have its own forum. So naturally I would need to hide them from the node list. The same goes for group forums I'd imagine.

Also, the plan was to not split up the game forums too much. So I wanted to do prefixes for "news", "rules", "strategy" etc. And just keep everything about a game in the same forum.

But then you have those games that may have 5 expansions, and that's when things get tricky..

A) The most natural way of doing it: Sub-forums for expansions. So they are nested within the main game forum. But it will split up things, and many expansions are very small, so it doesn't make sense to split them from the main forum. (this is a problem another website has. Some expansion forums are not used much. Or people get confused and post in the wrong forum. While some questions may be relevant for several expansions, and cannot be divided to a single expansion..).
Some big expansions may warrant this segmentation, but it may not be beneficial as a default rule. I think..

B) Experimental approach: One forum for everything on a game (and its 5 expansions), but heavily utilizing prefixes. So prefixes for main game/expansion A-B-C etc, and then comes the regular prefixes as well (news, rules etc). So I would need multi prefixes.
Would this look too chaotic?
Another problem with doing this is that I have a "game-bar" in the forum, which allows users to easily get back to the "database" section of that game. But since the game is linked to a node ID, I now cannot link the expansion game pages to that forum. It will only display the main game. So the user has visited an expansion in the database, they go to the forum tab. So far so good. But then they click into it, and suddenly the game bar on the forum says "main game", so they have no easy way to get back to the "expansion" page.

See images:
1592863793338.png






















In the forum. Game bar linked to node ID.

1592862785140.png
The forum tab in the database.

Kind of important to get the structure right before I start mass-adding stuff and then later find out I have to change things again.. Suggestions and input very welcome.
Did I miss something? Another approach I can do?

The other site that is huge on this area (BGG.com), has some big issues with lack of user-friendliness and good design etc. So I need to get this well done.
 

Taylor J

Well-known member
What about a mixture of both? Big expansions get their own sub-forum and small ones get the thread prefixes?
 

Frode789

Well-known member
What about a mixture of both? Big expansions get their own sub-forum and small ones get the thread prefixes?

Hmm. Maybe. =)
But then it would be difficult to decide for each expansion (is it big enough?), especially for games I don't own/know much about. Also it would not solve the game bar issue with then some game forums linked to the expansions, and some linked to the main game.
 

Taylor J

Well-known member
Hmm. Maybe. =)
But then it would be difficult to decide for each expansion (is it big enough?), especially for games I don't own/know much about. Also it would not solve the game bar issue with then some game forums linked to the expansions, and some linked to the main game.
I totally forgot about that part of the issue, my bad.

I would go for just using sub-forums for every expansion then. It shouldn't be a problem where guests can see empty forums just from the main forum board so I wouldn't see any harm in doing it.
 

sbj

Well-known member
Then comes the database of board games, which will consist of thousands of games eventually. Each game in my database needs to have its own forum. So naturally I would need to hide them from the node list. The same goes for group forums I'd imagine.
You can forget this approach. You need to think about a better system.

XF cannot handle thousands of nodes. It gets very very slow.

Multiprefix is a must and it works pretty well.

You need to use custom thread fields imo.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
You can forget this approach. You need to think about a better system.

XF cannot handle thousands of nodes. It gets very very slow.

Multiprefix is a must and it works pretty well.

You need to use custom thread fields imo.

Why would the forum get very slow?
A forum can have millions of posts, but can't handle 1000 nodes? @Chris D
 

sbj

Well-known member
Why would the forum get very slow?
A forum can have millions of posts, but can't handle 1000 nodes? @Chris D
As far as I know the permission stuff makes everything slower. I once was in the same boat as you, see: https://xenforo.com/community/threa...-forum-will-cause-performance-problems.84494/

In the past years I have seen many threads where people with a lot of nodes noticing really slowness due to the amount of permission checks and caching.

Also see Xon's reply from 2019: https://xenforo.com/community/threads/how-many-forums-nodes.166981/#post-1359267

There is roughly a limit of ~1000 forums because permission combinations start taking increasingly long to generate for every forum. It is recommended to have a lot less than that if you can.

There is an add-on "threadmarks" (XF1.x free, XF1.x paid, XF2 paid) which allows marking posts in a thread to automatically build an index out of them, with the ability to have a 'reader mode' (for paid versions) which only shows threadmark'ed posts. I effectively maintain the free version, and own the paid versions

This combined with Thread starter alerts paid add-on (XF1.x version, XF2 version), and Word Count Search free add-on (XF1.x version, XF2 version) work quite well for alerting & navigating thread-lists.

Note; licences for the paid version cover both XF1/XF2 versions.

This combination is used on a bunch of user fiction/stories oriented forums.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
Thank you for your useful information. That was new to me. I will have to look into how to approach this differently.
 

sbj

Well-known member
I can tell you that I am glad I didn't go that route.

It is much better to have less nodes as it is better for activity like this. There are things you can do such as prefix/custom thread fields to solve this problem.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
So I'm not really sure how to solve this, as I seem to be limited to just having at most, a few hundred nodes.

Seems strange that you can have millions of posts, but be so restricted with amount of forums.
Would be nice if we could link nodes together in a way that allows the node permission checks/rebuild of caches etc only having to be done ONCE for the nodes that are linked together. Then you could also group certain nodes on the Admin Node Index, to not get any UI issues.

Many addons have their own forums, and having a support for a large amount of nodes, would be something that makes XF even more expandable, especially for large forums.
For example, how could a site such as BGG.com make a move to XF, with so many nodes (thousands upon thousands)?

I'm aware of prefixes, but I can't really have a forum with 50 different games, shown together. (also, can you have thousands of prefixes?)
 

sbj

Well-known member
I don't believe thousands of prefixes would work either.

The only working method I know of, without custom development, is by using custom thread fields.

You need to set up a node, maybe tens of nodes if you can categorize broadly the games and then make people to use custom thread fields.

For example create a custom thread field called "game" and it must be a dropdown one. And then you can create thousands of choices for it (Game A, Game B). I have one field containing nearly 4500 choices, the other one 2500 as example. And then, when people create threads in that node, they need to pick up the game by using that custom thread field in that list. By using 3rd party addons you can make use of it. Hit me with a pm if you want to see how I set up my niche (which is not related to games and is not in English).
 

Frode789

Well-known member
Man.. That is a lot of extra work though, and not ideal. Every extra step you put on the user (select game before posting, when you are already on the game page etc), is potentially a forum post lost as users can't be bothered. None is going to scroll through thousands of thread fields in a drop down, to select the game forum they want to post for.

Not even sure if I can work with that at all.. :\

@Xon is like the grandfather of prefixes and customization of those ^^ Any input here on my little problem? Can I do this in some way with prefixes instead? (multi-prefixes ++)
 
Last edited:

sbj

Well-known member
Man.. That is a lot of extra work though, and not ideal. Every extra step you put on the user (select game before posting, when you are already on the game page etc), is potentially a forum post lost as users can't be bothered.
I totally agree. It is not ideal and the extra step is annoying. But that is the only option (I know of). If anyone else has a better idea, I am all ears as it would benefit me aswell.
None is going to scroll through thousands of thread fields in a drop down, to select the game forum they want to post for.
Not quite as you say. You don't have to scroll, you can type the name in the filter and it gives you results when you start typing.
Also thread fields are for threads, not for nodes. So you cannot select the forum. You select it for threads.

But, to be honest, if you are thinking of having more than 10k games, I believe even the custom thread fields solution will be a problem, as the 3rd party addon I am using has its limits aswell and needs to be optimized.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
I totally agree. It is not ideal and the extra step is annoying. But that is the only option (I know of). If anyone else has a better idea, I am all ears as it would benefit me aswell.

Not quite as you say. You don't have to scroll, you can type the name in the filter and it gives you results when you start typing.
Also thread fields are for threads, not for nodes. So you cannot select the forum. You select it for threads.

But, to be honest, if you are thinking of having more than 10k games, I believe even the custom thread fields solution will be a problem, as the 3rd party addon I am using has its limits aswell and needs to be optimized.
Yeah that's true. I'm hoping some clever souls in here have some good suggestions.
Any input from the dev team would be welcome. @Mike @Kier

Ah okay. Understood. Well I dont expect EVER to have that many. Just that BGG has it :p I might hit 1000 some day, but I will be able to clean some old games (only allowing them to have a discussion thread, like resources, not a dedicated forum/prefixes/whatever). So I think I would be able to keep things in check.
 

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
How about using tags?
If you use a specific tag for each game and a tag for each extension?
Maybe use tag categories if that helps split them up?
My tag essentials addon might help you achieve what you need.
 

Frode789

Well-known member
How about using tags?
If you use a specific tag for each game and a tag for each extension?
Maybe use tag categories if that helps split them up?
My tag essentials addon might help you achieve what you need.
hmm I suppose it might be another option. I'll look into it :)
 
Top