Obsidian Portal Launch Feedback



  • Basileus
    Posts: 585 edited October 2013
    Yay, new nav tabs! I like them. Things are slowly but surely shaping up. If you can give me a dice roller I will declare this a victory and ride off happily into the sunset.

    @Thorvaldr: LOL, are you secretly Jayne Cobb?

    _"Far as I see it, you people been given the shortest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-heel 'verse. But you took that end, and you - well, you took it. And that's - Well, I guess that's somethin'."_
    Post edited by Basileus on
  • Langy
    Posts: 364 edited October 2013
    Leonidas, what I mean by 'there is nothing much wrong with your campaign' (if I don't qualify it further) is 'nothing in your campaign looks bad, misplaced, or off - it looks *correct*'.

    I asked Dragoner what browser he was using earlier because he said he was having trouble with messed-up text and images, but when I browsed through just about every page on his campaign site I could only find a very, very small number of cases where there were any issues, and those ones would have been problematic before the Reforging. In other words, the reforge didn't seem to break _anything_ on his site except adventure log comments and the forum, both of which are in the pipe, it seems.

    So saying 'everything is broken' when almost nothing is broken on his site is a bit hyperbolic.
    Post edited by Langy on
  • Kallak
    Posts: 1,090
    @Thorvaldr, from what I understand, the intent was not to change the look and feel of obsidian portal. It was to make it more compatible with various devices, optimize things on the back end and make edit button locations and similar things more consistent in terms of location. Obviously SOME layout/design would need to change by necessity (adding the dashboard for example), but I don't believe anyone expected to see the level of front end redesign that occurred - thus the anger and frustration.

    Personally, I think that once the design team got in there and started making changes, they also started making design choices for things that didn't need to be altered. If you look at the earliest videos, the dashboard looks pretty close to what it does now, but the site itself looked more like it used to. It is my belief that they wanted to port the vertical nav bar over to the campaigns (which I can only guess was done for some level of consistency's sake) and then once they were working on the campaign side of things, they went down a road that didn't need to be gone down. Changes to link colors? Color scheme? Font sizes? Exchanging the OP logo for a dragon head? Adding in a colored little topper div to the banner and main page section? These and dozens of other alterations were completely unnecessary - all of this not even mentioning things that were there already and are now either lost or replaced with a more clunky mechanic (like the Show All wiki pages feature).

    Obviously it's too late now, and the best we can do is work with the tools available, and try to make our voices heard to the design team, but I think that people have a right to be angry - particularly ascendant members and kickstarter backers. The proverbial rug was pulled out from underneath people's feet on several issues and that was not called for. While we as a community certainly received what will hopefully at the end be a stronger, more streamlined site (which was promised), we have also been given NUMEROUS changes that were not mentioned in advance or desired. I had posted multiple times about my concerns regarding pigeonholing the front end of the site, and was given assurances that such would not happen - and then it did. I mean, Christ, you have to upload a new background or use CSS *JUST* to get rid of the random background they added. You can't have a plain colored background by default?

    This reforge SHOULD have been about making the site stronger, and empowering users to further their own designs. The dashboard is a good start, because there hasn't ever been a GM only area to the site for the GM to work on the campaign. Granted the dashboard isn't that, but it's a step in the right direction and could have that added to it later. Other things that should've been on the list are customizable tabs, page template construction, a campaign layout design workshop, and maybe a character sheet builder (sort of a DST construction tool if you will). Time and again you see campaigns of the month go to people who are pushing the envelope of what is possible on OP. People want that, and they should have been given that with this reforge. We got pieces of it, but the meat and potatoes are still nowhere to be found.
    All the best,
    - Kallak
  • dragoner
    Posts: 37
    I wrote earlier what is wrong, I can't see anything is fixed - 'saying nothing is wrong' sounds like an insult, it pains me just to see my poor butchered and blurry banner. However, as far as it stands, the campaign is dead. I supported this site to my players, even so far as some left then, but now they are all gone. So yes, everything is ruined, nor am I about to learn css to fix it, that wasn't part of the deal.

    It is fair to ask for a refund and not be trolled for it.
  • Langy
    Posts: 364 edited October 2013
    It may sound like an insult, but it's the truth - there is _nothing wrong with your site_. If it's just the banner, that can be easily fixed; you've been given the CSS to reset it to the original dimensions already, and you're apparently Ascendant, so you can just drop that in your CSS and be done with it. If you don't want to copy and paste something, you can put in a different banner, too.

    But I was under the impression you had issues with more than just the banner. If so, I don't see them. I asked before and I'll ask again - what browser are you using? If you're using IE8 or something, of course the site won't look right - IE8 is old and unsupported. If you're using an updated version of Chrome or Firefox, then I must have either missed something or there's something else weird going on.
    Post edited by Langy on
  • dragoner
    Posts: 37
    It is not the truth at all, just one example past the banner on that page the bolded text is gone, the inline links aren't highlighted, character sheets all gone, forums unusable, etc.; multiple issues. I have no idea where to drop in the css, nor was I ever given anything. I am using ie10, but the site still intermittently makes me use compatibility mode, and I AM NOT using a special browser for one site, that is ridiculous. However, none of it means anything if the campaign is over. Quid pro quo, some compensation should be forthcoming.
  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 3,001
    So, as I backed only to the level of seeing the Reforge forums (where feedback was given about some of these issues, but by no means even 10% of them) I am curious about those that were High Ascendant or higher ($100 or more).
    I personally wished I had kicked in the extra $25, because I would have been giving feedback like no tomorrow- but what about the 69 of you that got to, to quote the Kickstarter page, have "early access to the beta server to watch the reforging as it happens."
    Did none of this get shown?
    I am one that thinks there are some legitimate improvements, even though I have to go through every single one of my pages, but I am curious how some of the obvious things got missed.
    One thing for those that did not see the Reforge forum, this was posted by Micah back in July- some of us did say it was a bad idea, but it was done- and there were not a lot of people arguing against it then.
    "The PC/NPC top-level grouping distinction is going away. It’s not all that useful, and definitely not worthy of the massive partitioning of the existing view."

    Just trying to help out.

  • madartiste
    Posts: 328
    @DreadGazebo: It might seem like a minor thing considering all that's going on, but I wanted to say thank you for adding in the individual classes for the list items in the Nav Bar. It definitely made my css work easier!
  • Langy
    Posts: 364

    I have no idea why you think bolded text isn't bolded or inline links aren't highlighted. They both are, as evidenced on "this page":https://homage-to-peladon.obsidianportal.com/. I *think* IE10 is supported, so that shouldn't be an issue, either.

    I see now that the character sheets *are* nonexistent for the traveller system; I have absolutely no idea whatsoever why that is, but it's definitely a bug. I must have not viewed those character sheets when I browsed that site; I think I was going in order of last-created or something, which may explain it. There's just something very wrong with the traveller_english DST; sounds like something someone's going to need to fix. I can see that all of the data is still there in that DST, though, so at least you don't have to worry about it having disappeared.

    But yes, that's something that is majorly wrong with the site and needs fixing. Thanks for actually giving some specifics this time.


    We were shown it, and we gave feedback. Some of it we missed (I don't think anyone mentioned much about the forums or lack of adventure log comments), but some we definitely discussed (the campaign width, for example).

    It wasn't really a beta-test, though - that's not really possible if only the GM has access to the site, especially since it was all going to be wiped when the reforging was moved to the proper servers anyways.
  • DarthKrzysztof
    Posts: 132 edited October 2013
    I'd also like the option to go to my profile page on login, rather than to a favored campaign.

    It would also be nice to customize my colors on the profile page, and/or to use the custom colors for each campaign site on each game's listing in the profile.

    Finally, I hope the die roller comes back when things settle down a bit, as some of my players used it during our games. I'd also like to see Fudge dice added to it.
    Post edited by DarthKrzysztof on
  • jtanzer
    Posts: 5
    Good idea @DarthKrzystof, Fudge/Fate dice would be nice.

    If the die roller does come back, would it be possible to include custom die sets, like Fudge dice, or tools for dedicated individuals to create them? Definitely a low-priority, "once other stuff is dealt with" goal, but a robust die roller would be pretty neat thing to have integrated into OP.

    Unrelated question: with the new "drop in image" thing, has anyone else accidentally just opened the image in their browser? Because I did that the other night and lost the other changes I had made to the page. It didn't save a draft of the changes, which OP had been doing before. Did that feature go away? Is it coming back? I try to maintain good saving etiquette, but it was still annoying to lose a few paragraphs.

    One final detail: Would it be possible to add a simpler way to tag pages than going into the page edit view? It would be nice if, say, players could add tags without needing permission to edit the page. Another low-priority thing, but it could be a useful tool since searching by tags seems to be emphasized in the reforge.
  • Nestor
    Posts: 10
    I'll join my voice to the chorus. I've participated in OP as a player for years and just recently got Ascendant membership so that I could start my own campaign. I touted the site to my players, but now I'm embarrassed to bring it up. Thankfully, the campaign's just getting started, so I won't be losing a lot if/when I leave.

    While I am a computer professional and CSS-savvy, I had no intention to do anything fancy to my site other than add campaign-related content. The idea that I now need to get elbow-deep in code just to get a usable page is disheartening. I think more than anything else, this is the biggest misstep of the reforge.

    A service such as this should not force its users to muck around with its innards just to get basic functionality. It reminds me of the old days of IBM PCs when you needed to know about DOS command structure and esoteric terms like IRQ just to get your programs running.

    I can honestly say that if I came to OP as a prospective user today, I would turn around and leave. It simply does not look like an attractive, or even usable interface.
  • MythicJagerSuperOver
    Posts: 1
    There is a problem with the Adventure Logs. The Tag Lines are not visible in the Logs.
  • Khrol
    Posts: 5
    @Kallak: Thank you for being upfront, I entirely agree with you.

    @KillerVP: It is a massive error when you are producing a new patch, software upgrade, or any product and you only test it/show it in BETA to only a core of like-minded individuals. You have to find diversity in the development process for feedback and consideration - this includes varied backgrounds, capabilities, and levels of exposure to the asset. Pandering and listening only to those singular types in that target audience does not challenge the value to other target groups. I agree that I wish you were in that level only so that the base of feedback could have been broader.
  • Leonidas300
    Posts: 275 edited October 2013
    @ MarkGiguere

    *First, dragoner’s not a troll; he is a guy who is understandably upset by the many major changes that his campaign has undergone. He is expressing his dismay over this and belittling him and calling him a troll for seeking recourse is just a dick move.*

    "He is certainly allowed to be unhappy about the changes but I would point out that if you heavily customized your site, you are running a non-standard version of the product. When said product is patched, you are NOT in a position to complain when the patch borks your site".

    *This goes hand in hand with another quote by you*:

    "@Thorvaldr: I understand the frustration of those with heavily customized sites. It is not my wish to belittle them in any way. It’s only normal that they are angry/annoyed that their heavily tweaked site is now out-of-order or ugly. Ok.
    That being said, if you mod a game and the next patch destroys your mods, that’s par for the course. I respectfully submit that this is similar. They had a non-standard implementation of a product, possibly a free implementation. The product has been upgraded. The host site has established a measure (the Vanguard project) to help people transition to the new look. This is laudable in all respects but the host site cannot and should not be held “hostage” because some users went overboard on customization".

    *That's the very dismissive attitude that I and many others are pissed about. First off when a product is patched, there is usually a comprehensive list of what is going to change. There was nowhere near a list of the major changes wrought by the Reforge. Also, in some cases you also have the option not to install the patch, so while sounding like a nice sound bite your example does not really hold water.*

    " the host site cannot and should not be held “hostage” because some users went overboard on customization".

    *The site actually rewards people for going overboard on customization - it's called Campaign of the Month and Campaign of the Year, maybe you've heard of that. Maybe I'm being too logical here but any move forward should have been insulated against crippling existing work. I can't imagine that this is the result the Reforge Team was striving for or that they can be happy about many of the blatant miscues involved with this, if this process has been what their expectation was for it, there is something even more seriously amiss*.

    *I am very angry about the Reforge but I agree more time is needed before folks make the decision to leave, at the same time I'd not fault anyone for leaving. A group’s game is a very personal thing, it embodies friendship, shared effort, camaraderie, the desire to create something greater than the sum of it’s parts and to have that screwed with for reasons that are not clear or just in the name of “progress” tends to piss people off*.

    “The only people I consider have a very good case for the “my campaign is broken!” complaint are the people who were running PBP campaign in the forums. They are screwed and they were NOT running something very far from “standard”. Yet, even they should be a bit more polite/civilized than just slamming the door and demanding a refund like, say, SAYING what is not working instead of just declaring everything is broken?”

    *Dragoner was running a PBP using his forums; he had said so many times in many posts*.

    So, sorry, I have minimal sympathy for people throwing virtual tantrums even if his is, admittedly, rather mild.

    *I am sorry that you overreacted to as you put it a “mild tantrum” by a guy who is obviously upset with "very good cause". I am also sorry you lack the human empathy or wisdom to just keep your mouth shut about a situation you obviously have little to no knowledge about*.

    "A Manifestation of Chaos":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/metzger/wikis/main-page
    COTM - Sept. 2012
    Post edited by Leonidas300 on
  • Thorvaldr
    Posts: 141
    @Basileus: Hahaha! I like to think I have the eloquence of Jane Cobb, the toughness of Wash, the seductiveness of Book, the charisma of River and the leadership of Kaylee. :P

    @Kallak: ...I really fight with myself on what I got, vs. what I was expecting. When the site was first relaunched, I checked the kickstarter page a couple of times. It doesn't _feel_ like what I was really excited about... but in a technical way, it's fairly similar to what they said they were going to do... I definitely don't remember anyone mentioning losing subforums though. Loss of functionality was never mentioned, and I am kinda displeased by that. So yeah, I'm not thrilled with the launch, but I do see them working fairly hard to try to make amends.

    And to mostly agree with what I feel is the consensus... yeah, the reforging could have been rolled out better. As Khrol expounded upon Killvervp, there should have been more people let into the beta and beta forums. Possibly anyone who had gotten CotM? And possibly a long trial period for those in the early know to really try things out. I appreciate that Obsidian didn't want to push back the launch any further, but I've (usually) found gamers to be pretty understanding if there's good communication going back and forth. Which, especially these last couple of days, I think there has been. So, they should have been more upfront in communicating earlier, but at least they're making their best effort at it now. And I'm optimistic that maybe most of the main issues can be sorted out in a month?

    And just so no one misunderstands me, it's good that people are bringing up these points, and doing so en masse. I agree with a lot of the issues people are bringing up. I just think it's only helpful when people are showing their displeasure, whilst giving Obsidian Portal a path to alleviate that displeasure.
  • MarkGiguere
    Posts: 53
    @ Leonidas300
    ok, first, it is logistically IMPOSSIBLE to accommodate all the possible customizations done by all the users in the Reforging. PERIOD. If you don't agree, then I submit it is you who has no idea what your talking about.

    And as to my supposed lack of empathy, my thinking that people who are having meltdowns over changes to a website used to facilitate the playing of a GAMES is not lack of empathy, it's called not losing my PERSPECTIVE.

    So we'll agree to disagree, because this is neither the place nor the time. We can have this discussion in a month when the Reforging growing pains are over and everyone has calmed down.

    In the meantime, I will continue to roll my eyes when people go nuts over trivial stuff.
  • Khrol
    Posts: 5
    @MarkGuguere I totally agree with you. Who would ever build a crappy piece of software to be backwards compatible and forward-looking? I mean, can you imagine if someone was so stupid as to suggest they test with broader groups, or allow things like comments or sub-forums to be toggled on or off at the owner's discretion. That would be mind boggling. That would be considerate user experience. It is probably better to ramrod changes with apparent disregard for past efforts to those who were loyal to OP for years. FYI - your eyes are not rolling from trivial stuff - that is the white text on grey background that causes that.

    My feedback portion of this post would be that I find the new reforge bereft of a intuitive build/experience for mobile devices. There should be specific design implementation variants for the unique behaviors and screen sizes of tablets and smartphones.
  • Belrathius
    Posts: 206

    It seems that devs have missed the thread I started, "New Reforge Issue Tracking List", which was meant as an emotionless tracking list of issues for devs to more easily parse and sort (meaning they were the primary target audience in the first place, to make their job easier). I appreciate that someone is monitoring this thread, but could someone also monitor that thread as well? It doesn't change much, and all that needs monitored are the list posts (top 15 or so), since those get updated with any additional comments made there (and anywhere else if I can spot it).

  • Leonidas300
    Posts: 275
    @ MarkGiguere

    It is not impossible, very difficult yes but just because it is difficult does not mean it should not be attempted, but for the record I said “any move forward should have been insulated against crippling existing work” Everyone understands there will be difficulties associated with any change/upgrade but all of this… really….

    Also EXACTLY how does the dismantling of the forums and sub-forums facilitate Dragoner's or anyone else's PBP game? Please share your "abundant" insight into this and tell me because I’d really like to know.

    So an open forum is not the time or place to bring out these concerns?

    “In the meantime, I will continue to roll my eyes when people go nuts over trivial stuff”

    Once again, a classic dick response. It’s nice to know that you consider the many difficulties that folks are having as trivial, I can only hope at some point after years of work your site can suffer a huge set back. You deserve it.

    "A Manifestation of Chaos":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/metzger/wikis/main-page
    COTM - Sept. 2012
  • whiter73
    Posts: 4
    I have a question and I haven't been able to find anything in the help forums or here yet, but I might have missed it.

    When editing or creating an Adventure Log, how do you drop in Character or Wiki links? I try drag and drop of the words 'Character Link' or 'Wiki Link' and it drops a text like "https://xxx.obsidianportal.com/posts/and-coming/edit#".

    Is this functionality broken or is it user error? Any help is appreciated.
  • SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    Dont drag. Click the colored square that says "Character link".

    A selection box should open. Dont try it with images yet, unless you have only a very few,
  • monstro95968
    Posts: 4
    Is there a collection of css fixes somewhere?
  • Thorvaldr
    Posts: 141
    Depends what you're looking for, but the "Quick 'n' Dirty":http://forums.obsidianportal.com/comments.php?DiscussionID=3406&page=1#Item_38 thread is probably the best place to start. Basileus has done a great job of organizing it.

    DM of "Tyellador":https://tyellador.obsidianportal.com/
  • dragoner
    Posts: 37
    Leonidas300, thank you. It is obvious that some of us get it, and others don't. There is an emotional attachment to something someone has spent years building, just to see it washed away in a day; the reason they don't see it is because they have not built anything I guess. Certain things are galling: to have stood up for OP and then have been made to feel foolish, to kiss off the $75 is easy - but not in principle of the matter, or to have posted a trouble ticket over the browser issue and seen it deleted without answer.

    Oh well, I do hope things work out for everybody.
  • Leonidas300
    Posts: 275
    @ dragoner

    I too hope they can get this stuff squared away and how it is handled will largely dictate whether or not I decide to call it quits. I don't want too but yeah the mountain of work to fix things as well as the barrier this has created to low/moderately skilled users has me pretty dissatisfied. I instantly know 3 to 4 of my players who were willing to contribute to the portal will not do so now because of the time investment and my one guy who is awesome with code was so disgusted by the way this was done, he has terminated his ascendancy. My players to a man hate what has been done all 9 of them.

    For myself I'm going to try and plug away and fix it but only to the point of reason, if it's too far beyond me then I'll be forced to find or create (with my friends help... pretty much he'll create it and I'll populate it) a venue that I can control the changes made. One things for certain it won't have a light grey background with white text. (and even though that was marginally improved it is still difficult to work with - PS - you know who hates black text on a white background? No one, You know why? cause it works).

    Insofar as the money I won't ask for it back, I'd just spent it on Dwarven Forge or Bones anyway and I already have way too much of that stuff.

    Anyway I do hope they resolve it cause it would be a shame to have to go.

    "A Manifestation of Chaos":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/metzger/wikis/main-page
    COTM - Sept. 2012
  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 3,001
    Repeating, as I only got one response, from Langy- who has been amazing in this process!
    So, as I backed only to the level of seeing the Reforge forums (where feedback was given about some of these issues, but by no means even 10% of them) I am curious about those that were High Ascendant or higher ($100 or more).
    I personally wished I had kicked in the extra $25, because I would have been giving feedback like no tomorrow- but what about the 69 of you that got to, to quote the Kickstarter page, have "early access to the beta server to watch the reforging as it happens."
    Did none of this get shown?

    On a separate note, why do tags only show a max of 5? The old tagging system would show all of them! So if I type the PC Overkill, who has been in my party since March 2011, I only get 5 mentions of him in logs, wikis, and characters- and then I have to google search for the rest? Confused...

    Just trying to help out.

  • Micah
    Posts: 894
    We're addressing issues as fast as we can, and we'll continue to update you as time goes on.

    We've deployed several changes over the roughly 3.5 days that the Reforged site has been live (max-width, text edit contrast, campaign colors, nav menu, and more...). We're working on a few more things right now, like restoring comments to adv. log posts. I expect to get that out today.

    The next major issue on the table is subforums. I’m still coming up with a response there. I’ll have an answer for you soon on that front.

    I’ve made some big mistakes with this launch, and it was definitely too rushed. We should have identified these issues and dealt with them on the Beta site prior to launch. But, I was eager to get the site launched and move forward. Once the dust settles, I’ll do a more in-depth analysis of what went right and wrong.

    But for now: We hear you, we're working, and we're immensely grateful for your patience.
  • Khrol
    Posts: 5
    Add to the list of things (although not an immediate priority) - Responsive Design. It is a growing expectation among the public and would improve your conversion rate and loyalty which are both key in any subscription-based product.

    Thanks for the response.
  • schiann
    Posts: 19
    I like the new look, especially for my near-future campaign. It brings my photos forward, which makes it feel more immersive.

    I haven't customized the code for my campaign, but just getting rid of subforums broke a lot of work I put into it. I don't comprehend why you would get rid of features that even one person was using. Minimize them or make them optional in Settings if the UI's getting cluttered, but don't reduce utility.

    Thanks for the work you have done. I've noticed lots of things getting fixed over the last couple days.

    I'm experiencing one bug I didn't see catalogued yet. On my Samsung Galaxy S3's Internet browser, the login page text phrases" I signed up with a username" and "Create new account" are not clickable links.

    Like many other users, these are the fixes that I'm looking for next:
    - Subforums
    - Edit/delete forum items
    - Allow typed date entry for Adventure Logs, to facilitate future (2071) dates without 696 clicks
    - Make the GM-only Adventure Log entries ghosted in the Dashboard
    - Allow comments on Adventure Logs
    - Separate lists of PCs and NPCs
    - Dice roller
    - Communicate correct recommended sizes for banners and other images
    - Ability to un-favorite a campaign

    Those will let me feel like my campaign is back to normal, back working like it was last week.
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