The mepbm.com Forums will be migrating to a new software platform on 27-29 September 2019.
The MEPBM Forums will be getting an upgrade to new Forums software called Discourse, which includes a mobile app for iOS and Android, optional new post email notifications on topics, and support for signing in with your Google or Facebook account, if preferred. It also uses a more modern responsive web design that looks great on devices from PCs to tablets to smartphones.
Why the change?
The mepbm.com Forums have been operated by Darrell Swoap since 2003. I offered to migrate the mepbm.com Forums to a more modern software solution and have active players help with moderating the Forums since Darrell no longer plays MEPBM. Thank you to Darrell Swoap for managing the MEPBM Forums for the past 15+ years! This has been a great asset for the player community.
Will all the content and accounts migrate over?
Content: Yes. Discourse has a vBulletin migration script that should migrate over all historical posts. There may be some hiccups, but the plan is to migrate everything (except for The Library section which has moved to the MEPBM Wiki). We have done a test migration and it worked great!
Accounts: While accounts should migrate over, passwords for your account will not. You will need to do s forgot password when you log into the new forms once they launch. You may need to re-upload your avatar photo for your account. There also may be a possibility that your mepbm.com account was registered with an old email address that you no longer have access to. We would highly recommend that all Forums users verify the email address on file under the Edit Email & Password page. Please confirm that the email address listed on this page is accurate. If it is not, please update it as soon as possible. If you have an out-of-date email address on-file and you have problems logging in to the new Forums once we migrate over, we will be unable to send you a lost password recovery email and most likely, you will have to create an entirely new account.
At 10pm Pacific Time (UTC -7) on September 26th, the forums will be locked so that the data can be migrated. You will be able to access the old forums here, but not post or edit existing posts from 10pm Pacific Time (UTC -7) on September 26th until the completion of the migration, expected to take place on September 27-29.
Will you redirect the old Forums links to the new Forums?
Yes and no. We will redirect traffic from mepbm.com to the new Forums site (see below), but if you bookmarked a specific Forum post, those bookmarks will not redirect properly. We plan to redirect all old bookmarked links to the top-level of the new Forums. Apologies if you use Forums post bookmarks. You will need to update those bookmarks after the migration.
Most of the Forums software out there is getting close to 20 years old and has a lot of technology baggage from a pre-smartphone, pre-responsive web era. Discourse was first released in 2013, and it has a much more modern technology architecture and design framework from its inception.
Discourse is open-source, which means it’s not dependent upon some company which may or may not go out of business or change direction someday. Discourse has a long-term roadmap of ongoing feature development and an active community to support it. The Discourse open source development community is quite large and they have regular releases with new features.
It has a nice mobile web interface for use from a smartphone, and also has optional mobile apps for iOS and Android you can use, as well.
Discourse supports migrating content from vBulletin, the software currently used for the mepbm.com Forums. This means we can migrate all of the historical posts and user accounts over to the new system.
Discourse allows you to sign in with an existing account, such as Google or Facebook, if you don’t want to manage yet another account username and password that you may lose track of. You can still create a unique account, however.
If you’re interested in learning more about Discourse, you can check out their web site @ https://www.discourse.org.
Can I test the new Forums before the migration takes place?
Yes. Please visit https://forums.mepbm.com. We are doing some testing now before the data migration. Feel free to create an account and help test (or just poke around if you prefer). We’d love to get your feedback!
I tried the new Forums and I don’t like it as much as the old Forums!
Change is difficult. The new Forums look different and things you’ve been used to doing a certain way here for the past 15+ years will change. There will be a small learning curve. There will likely be things you won’t like as much as the old Forums. That’s ok! Do your best to separate your initial feedback on the new Forums from what you will think after using it for awhile. Familiarity and comfort comes through using the new Forums over time. I don’t expect that 100% of people will be happy 100% of the time. I can tell you that once you get the hang of the new Forums, you will find them to be easier to use and a lot less cluttered. There’s also some nice new features like the mobile apps, and (optional) email notifications for posts you care about following.