We've come to a spot that I've been dreading a bit, and that's the Items tab. Why dreading? Well, I don't really know what to do with it. It's not where I want it to be, but getting it there would require us to ignore other parts of the site.
It's not just a question of what we can/can't do to improve the items tab, instead it's a question of what *else* could we spend that time on? A perfect example are the DSTs. They have a lot of potential, but they need to be improved. If forced to choose, I would much rather spend time on improving the DSTs (which a lot of people use) as opposed to the Items tab. Characters are the core of RPGs and also Obsidian Portal. Items...not so much. Plenty of games do just fine without items at all.
We could just leave it as it is, but during user testing it became clear to me that leaving in things that are less-than-awesome is a good way to confuse and irritate users, especially new ones. The less polished features are like land mines. Experienced users know where they are and avoid them, but new users step on them and instantly get a bad first impression about the site. If that happens enough, they decide the site sucks and never come back.
The best solution is to make everything awesome, but reality dictates that we only have so much time, so we have to choose what we will focus on. The next best solution is to remove and/or better hide the land mines to prevent people from stepping on them.
My current plan is this:
* We make the Items page match the new design, but don't really mess with it all that much.
* For existing campaigns with items, they have the items tab in the new design.
* For existing campaigns without items, and for new campaigns, they don't have the items tab enabled. It's an option you can turn on in the advanced settings section, but is disabled by default.
Some have asked if they can choose which tabs are enabled, and we may go that route as well, but I'm not sure yet. It's on our nice-to-have list that we're hoping to get to once we have time.
Some day in the future, hopefully we can revisit the items feature and work it to where it needs to be to match the rest of the site, but for now I don't want to ignore it and allow it to remain as a land mine that people are stepping on.
Also, I'm posting this here because I feel like you all (the inner-circle of the KS backers and OP community) can handle this and understand what I'm trying to say. I'm not really planning on announcing this yet to the community-at-large because I'm still trying to figure out how to phrase it. Most people probably think the reforging is about adding tons of new features, not necessarily hiding existing ones. But, what we're really trying to do is refine and sharpen the existing site so it's always a delight to interact with. Sometimes that requires making some hard choices. I'm glad that I can feel confident in posting this to all of you in that you'll understand what the goals are and how we're going to achieve them.