I checked through the existing suggestion list in the sticky a few times so I hope I didn't miss an earlier post about this one:
I think that the Armor Games v3 forums could really benefit from a search box and an advanced search page.
The Google search is mildly useful, but it doesn't seem to filter a search to any specific forum, just the entire community. I also have to navigate to the sticky post on searching for threads to access the link for the Google search that focuses on armorgames.com/community.
Also, seeing as many people don't seem to know what stickies are, a specialized search box in the forum would greatly reduce the questions and complaints about searching for topics in the forums.
I thought there was already a suggestion for a user search box as well. It should be helpful if users can search for other user profiles so that they can add each other as friends without having to dig up old posts, or see what their friends have been talking about recently by filtering a search by the user posting/replying (in the advanced search page).
An example of an "advanced search" page could include a search box for a line of text (which may also allow &&s and quotes for exact matches), a second search box for usernames (to search for user profiles or for posts/topics created by certain users), an option to search topic titles only or complete threads, a selection of the forums that the user wishes to limit their search to, a selection for results to show up as topic titles or thread posts, and a set of dates "from" and "to" for the user to filter the search to a smaller timeframe.
Tools such as these can be incredibly useful both for users and for moderators.
The only drawback that I see is the possibility that many new users like myself have habits of reviving dead topics as opposed to creating new topics with redundant ideas. I personally prefer the "bump the dead thread" method because it gives the full background of the last discussion as well as the (hopefully) fresh perspective of the new user in context. It also results in an overall reduction in topics for each forum, which is easier to manage, browse, and archive.
A well-developed search engine could affect the forum rules and policies to some extent, but I think that its uses would far outweigh the adjustment that long-time users would undergo when it is introduced.
If there is a search engine then it would have to go by Forum and Forum subsection, I think.
Basically you could chose to search only the "tavern" for threads, and sort them by date started or date of last post in them.
Any search engine that searches everything at once in a forum is very inefficient. Searching though only what you know you need too, to get to what you want, is better.
I didn't think that a search engine would slow things down - I've had experience with advanced searches on another site (forums.atomicmpc.com.au), and other than the fact that the basic search box doesn't bring up any results, the advanced search feature works wonderfully.
I tried illustrating in my first post that the advanced search box has several filters that limit the number of topics being searched, and the basic search box should have a default filter setting that limits the search to topic titles, the last month, and the same forum or subforum.
As far as necro threads go, I personally think it would be better if they were allowed to be revived as long as somebody has something fresh to offer to the same topic. Raising a dead topic with a "bump" is definitely against the rules on any forum, but posting a reply with something to add is preferable to creating a redundant topic. (For example, the AtomicMPC moderators usually won't close a redundant thread if the original topic died a few pages or so back, and they also don't complain about old topics coming back as long as a user actually has something new to say on the issue.)
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