ZAM Launches Upgraded Forum Interface

We've revamped our forums to make them streamlined and easier to use. We've also added a variety of new features. Read on for all the details!

Over the past several months, we've been working on revamping our forum interface to make posting on ZAM a more streamlined and enjoyable experience. We are proud to announce that our upgraded forums are now live! We've stripped away the clutter and added a variety of new features, from updated contact information options to the ability to embed YouTube videos in your posts.

The main focus of this revamp is to make our forums easy to use. Posting buttons are more prominent, you can quickly reply to a thread directly from the thread view page, and you can now search within a thread. We've also expanded the options for our non-premium members. They can now select from a variety of pre-made avatars, use emoticons, enjoy mouse-over previews and post images and polls after reaching a specific post count.

We have forums for multiple games and topics, and we've made it easier to move from forum to forum. In the top right corner of the main forum page, you can quickly jump to any category. Whether you want to talk about games like Rift and World of Warcraft or more general topics like computer hardware or TV and movies, we've got you covered. We even have a new Star Wars: The Old Republic forum, so be one of the first users to share your thoughts on this highly anticipated MMO!

For more details on all of these changes, check out our design update notes after the jump. We hope you enjoy our forum upgrade! If you have any feedback or comments, please feel free to post them in this thread or send a private message to Kaolian, our senior forum administrator, or Darqflame, our customer relations manager.

ZAM Forum Upgrade - Design Update Notes

The overall forum design has gotten a big update. Lists of forums and threads, the threads themselves, the post page, and posting buttons and forum controls have all received upgrades. In general, things should be clearer with less clutter, allowing for more focus on the discussions themselves. Forum controls are now collapsed by default and take up less space, posting buttons are more prominent, and the recent visitors list has moved to the bottom and is now expanded by default. The "path" or "breadcrumbs" showing where you are in the forums now has drop downs available to more quickly move between forums and categories.

The Private Messages areas have been updated to reflect the forum changes and are more consistent with forum formatting and styling.

The user settings/profile page has been updated as well to have a cleaner presentation and give easier access to your settings in one location.

New Features

  • Category Jump Drop down: On the main forum page the top-right has a drop down you can use to quickly jump to any forum category on the page.
  • Forum Post Indicators: When viewing the root forum page or other forum category pages there are indicators to the left of forum names showing whether there are new posts since your last view of that forum.
  • Quick Reply: Enter your reply to a thread right from the thread view page. There is an option in your user settings to have this open by default.
  • YouTube Video Button: Embedded YouTube videos in posts.
  • Easier Color Options: Adding colors to your posts is now easier with more clearly visible color options. The old color names are still usable as well.
  • Avatar Gallery: There are now a variety of pre-made avatars for use by any users. Custom uploaded avatars are still a premium feature.
  • Post Numbers and Simpler Linking: In the top-left of posts it display what number in the thread a post is, and you can click (or right-click) to get the link to the post. The resulting links are now also shorter to more easily send to friends or post on sites such as Twitter.
  • Thread Searching: You can now search within a thread. The forum search box in the top right will change accordingly when you are viewing a thread.
  • More Stars: There is now a 5th star. And a 6th, and a 7th...
  • Contact Information: You can now enter your contact information for IM services, Facebook, and Twitter in your profile. Be aware that this information is accessible from your public profile and only enter information you wish to be public.
  • User Bios: You can fill out your bio in your settings. This is displayed on your public profile.

Features Opening to Non-Premium Members

  • Image Posting: You can now attach images to posts once you reach a post count of 250.
  • Polls: You can now attach polls to posts once you reach a post count of 25.
  • Emoticons: These are now open to all users.
  • Mouse over Post Preview: This is now open to all users. Options to disable it are available at the top of forum pages and in your settings.
  • Advanced Search: This is now open to all users.

Other Changes

  • Clearer Stars: All users will now have stars visible according to their post count, as opposed to admins always having 5 and some users having their stars hidden in favor of other text.
  • Karma Changes: These will be implemented slowly over the coming weeks after the forum rebuild goes live.
    • Pre append 100 3.00 rates to all accounts except those created out of notorious spammer countries such as China and Russia, using same criteria as the PM restriction script. This will prevent instant sub default users and instant gurus. This change will only affect new accounts.
    • Add a .10 positive karma to base karma for every year a poster has existed on the system, based on their first recorded post. (some technical challenges to this one, expect it later)
    • Alter the down rate button so that it isn't quite as punishing to newbies by changing it from the existing two 1.00 rates in a row is followed by a third -2.00, to five 1.00 rates in a row, followed by the sixth rate being a -6.00, and the 7th rate being a -8.00. The purpose being to still allow people to rate threads up or down, but only the truly awful ones that get multiple consecutive down rates in a row would drop extremely quickly.
    • Unspecified adjustments to the "report post" function to inhibit post spammers.


Post Comment
Mobile version?
# Jul 07 2011 at 10:02 PM Rating: Excellent
38 posts
Any chance of making a mobile version or at the very least, the forums more smartphone friendly? Load times are atrocious on my iPhone and it seems to get worse with every "upgrade."
Phoenix; Bastok/Windy/Sandy Rank 10
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Retired from FFXI 7/05/2010

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# Jun 27 2011 at 1:34 AM Rating: Good
55 posts
My concern is the security of Zam. last year a close friend got a narsty virus from you guys. Mega problems removing, ended up redoing his hard drive.

Any comment on your security changes?
# Jun 27 2011 at 8:06 PM Rating: Excellent
29,908 posts
sarslash wrote:
My concern is the security of Zam. last year a close friend got a narsty virus from you guys. Mega problems removing, ended up redoing his hard drive.

Any comment on your security changes?

A couple things to add to my co-workers who have already chimed in, First, if you do a search on our forums, you will find very few, if any reports of virus infection. Those that are reported we investigate thoroughly, and in most cases we are able to show the reporting user where they actually became infected from, and it isn't us.

We also maintain an extensive troubleshooting and computer cleaning manual in our forum, free of charge, to help combat infections regardless of the source:

There is nothing more important than the safety of our user experiance. If you have any specific concerns, please let us know.
Arch Duke Kaolian Drachensborn, lvl 95 Ranger, Unrest Server
Tech support forum | FAQ (Support) | Mobile Zam: (Premium only)
Forum Rules
# Jun 27 2011 at 12:13 PM Rating: Excellent
0X317A posts
We constantly work to keep our security up-to-date and frequently review our code to ensure that we are not missing anything. I'd be curious to know the details of what your friend seems to think happened.
Since 1 March 2004

Rift Signature
# Jun 27 2011 at 12:01 PM Rating: Excellent
Special Snowflake
6,786 posts
We are always vigilant in keeping our security up to date, but with all the hacking out there this summer our developers have been working even harder to make things as tight as possible.

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