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Bioware Forums Closing Down

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Kaldor Silverwand
Bioware Forums Closing Down

On July 29, 2016  Bioware announced the following:

[Copied from the Bioware forums announcement]

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After great consideration, we are closing down the BioWare forums, effective August 26, 2016. The Star Wars: The Old Republic forums will continue to operate; however, our public boards for Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and legacy BioWare titles will no longer be available.

This wasn’t an easy decision.

Our players are important to us. Your feedback, stories, and love for our games drive and inspire us.

In the past, our forums were the only way we could speak to you directly. They allowed our developers to talk with fans, and gave our players the opportunity to talk with each other about our games. But with the rise of social media and geek culture, there have never been more ways for us to connect.

Now we can travel around the world, meeting with you face-to-face at events like PAX, SDCC, and even shows in our own backyard. We can share stories with you on the go, giving you a look behind the scenes on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

In turn, you’ve built your own fantastic communities in places like Tumblr and Reddit. You’ve created comprehensive Wikis and countless pieces of fantastic art, fiction, and cosplay.

With so many great things so widely available, our developers today find themselves spending more time on other sites, and less time in our own forums. And to our fans and players who came to those boards looking to talk to us, it was a great disservice.

So it is with a heavy heart that we will close our public forums on August 26, 2016. We will maintain some private boards, and may use these in future for beta feedback or other special projects.

Because we know there is a lot of information on there you may want to keep, the public boards will remain in a read-only state until October 25, 2016. After that date, they will be taken down.

While we are saying goodbye to this venue, we remain committed to our community and will always be here to listen, share, and support you. Online and in person, we will continue to seek out opportunities to interact and share in our combined love of games.

 

 

Regards

--------------------------------------------

Blog: bbellina.blogspot.com

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rjshae

Somebody should put together a dark Bioware Biowere skin to commemorate our fallen comrade.

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Tchos

Obsidian should edit their forums to no longer direct NWN-related traffic to the Bioware forums.

Tchos' Gaming and Modding (blog)  |  List of mods for numerous games
Owner of: BG1&2 Complete | IWD Complete | IWD2 | PS:T | NWN Diamond | NWN2 Platinum | DA:O | Arcanum | VtM:B | ToEE

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

Does anyone know how to transfer the Bioware forum content to the NWN Omnibus? We only have a few weeks to save that valuable archive.

NWN and DAO adventures at http://proleric.com/

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Tarot Redhand

I've had a quick look on the wayback machine with some interesting results. By choosing the earliest inage of the NwN part they collected, I was able to go back (eventually) to June/July 2010 in the custom content threads. I just opened the cc threads, scrolled to the bottom of the page and hit the last page button. At that point it was page 69, while it is now page 81.

TR

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Rekov

We can get the stickes copied over at the very least, even if we have to do it manually.

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rjshae

Agree. We'll need an Admins help to get the topics "re-stickified" though.

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Tarot Redhand

There is one thing that you should be aware of. I don't know what they did but if you use your browser to save a page from the bioboards when you load it into any browser to check that you successfully saved you will see a large black band that covers the top half of the posts. It must either be something in the folder that is generated when you save or there is a little code in the web page itself that checks that the page is being read online or something similar. A fix for this will need to be found if saving the threads is going to be useful.

TR

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GearsOfMadness

While I'm not pitching myself to do this, is there someone(s) already looking into porting over all of the important posts from the forum? I imagine the code section is really valueable.

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Tarot Redhand

Just did a slightly more thorough look on the wayback machine and for the NwN forums it would appear that the last full snapshot was taken on January 19th 2015. A lot of the pages I looked at even still had the pictures in them.

TR

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kamal

It looks like baaleos on the bioforums is putting together some software to scrape:

https://forum.bioware.com/topic/574976-bioware-forums-are-closing/?p=204...

 

Need to get them to scrape the nwn2 forums as well

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Baaleos

Hi guys,

The software I am making should be able to scrape any forum page on the bioware forums, if it resembles the same structure as the nwn1 forum structure.

eg: Main forum -> sub forums -> topics -> posts.

 

I am planning on putting the data mapped via entity framework into a mssql database, I can then either share the mdf file or host it for the community to have read access to etc.

I've yet to run the actual post scraping yet, so I am unsure how fast it is.

I will prob run the program on my server and let it run at its own pace. We aren't in a big rush, so the pace isn't particularly important, we just need the data reliably.

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Baaleos

Good news

The scraper looks like it might be ready to go.

I am leaving it running overnight to see if it gets stuck on anything.

This is what it looks like 

 

 

 

The post content is basically the InnerHtml from within the post_body of a post.

An example would look like this, I hope that by storing the raw html, we can retain links to offsite images etc.

 
 
 
 
 
 
<div itemprop="commentText" class='post entry-content '>
 
<!--cached-Sat, 30 Jul 2016 13:25:47 +0000--><blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="WiredWraith" data-cid="20270158" data-time="1464020440">
<div>
<p>I checked and double-checked all the stats of my henchman and no negative status effects show up other than that annoying Movement Speed Decreased one.&nbsp; Made sure conversation options weren't enabling Stealth or Search mode too.&nbsp; She's just... bugged.&nbsp; How can I kill her to try and reset her?&nbsp; She appears to have some sort of "I'm dying but I can't die" flag set.</p>
</div>
</blockquote>
<p>Try kill her in shadow plane cuz script make her ded for gud on mythlar level wher snakehead lady stay. Hench respawn in SoU suppose to happen next to wher last master was.&nbsp; Am thinking hench respawn in Ch1 at dwarf house mayb specal for module but shud work like I say in all other mods/area cept the wind04 (mythlar).&nbsp; Mayb u rite that her bic went corrupt.&nbsp; Kill/rez dun mostly to fix faction but mayb work to fix bad effect.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>I know too late now to help much but save LOTS LOTS in NWN SP.&nbsp; CC not debug real gud sometime so it alway a gud idea to save so not have to redo lots.&nbsp; Guess mayb SoU have some bug left too. <img src='https://lvlt.forum.bioware.com/public/style_emoticons/default/sad.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':('>&nbsp; PW is better debug cuz alway want many ppl there so will fix bug very fast.</p>
 
 
<br>
 
</div>
 
 
 
 
<div class='ipsLikeBar right clearfix' id='rep_post_20270217'>
<ul class='ipsList_inline'>
<li id="like_post_20270217" class='ipsLikeBar_info' style="display:none">
 
</li>
 
</ul>
</div>
<script type='text/javascript'>
ipb.global.registerReputation( 'rep_post_20270217', { domLikeStripId: 'like_post_20270217', app: 'forums', type: 'pid', typeid: '20270217' }, parseInt('0') );
</script>
 
 
 
 
 
 
<ul id='postControlsNormal_20270217' class='post_controls clear clearfix'>
<li class='top hide'><a href='#ipboard_body' class='top' title='Back to top'><img src="https://lvlt.forum.bioware.com/public/style_images/bioware/post_top.png" alt=""> Back to top</a></li>
                    
 
 
 
 
 
</ul>
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

I put a shout out to OldTimeRadio, the original author of the Omnibus, to ask how the new material can be incorporated. Since we use Omnibus to search all the posts made on the original 2002 NWN site, it would be good to be able to search everything in the same place, I figure.

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Vanya Mia

I can see somewhere in there the suggestion that all scraped data will be hosted externally but I'd presume there's the intention to host some of it here? Going to get shouted at for this probably but I'm wondering if that needs to be a selective.

There's a lot of good stuff over there but for myself this has always been a better place to hang out because it's always seemed to be aimed more at customising content and creative support than the Bioware forums. That's not to say that a place to find new players isn't a damn good idea, and trying to bring both aspects of the game together thoroughly would be great, but I've read somewhere that we have limited storage which makes me ask if we really need all the threads that are on Bioware forums. I may be overestimating how much space any new forums will take up but I'm not convinced we need to mass replicate everything that's on there.

Happy to be told there's no need for concern and willing to accept being told I'm biased, but even in the list in Baaleos's post I can see several where I'd think "Why do we need that?"

"I took Skill Focus: Craft Disturbing Mental Image as my feat last level." Belkar, OOTS

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Baaleos

I guess it's subjective what we concern ourselves as important.

there are dozens if not hundreds of posts on the scripting and tools threads I would definitely want to save.

where as someone might want their guild posts and role plays saved.

worse case scenario, I can capture it all, then torrent it out to everyone so we all have a copy of it.

then we can choose what to host on websites etc.

i was tempted to provide a restful API that facilitates the browsing of the content.

but my bandwidth charges would be huge if everyone started browsing me at the same time.

i get free downloads, but outgoing data I get charged if it goes too high, something like 0.01 per gb over the first 100 gb or something like that. (AWS EC2)

 

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Vanya Mia

I understand it's subjective what is best to save, which is perhaps why we need consensus.

For me with respect to this:

".. there are dozens if not hundreds of posts on the scripting and tools threads I would definitely want to save".

I'd say yes, there's going to be a fair bit of use, but probably not all of those hundreds of individual posts. Solutions to FAQ style problems are a great help and definitely something I feel we should look to compile. Things like Rjshae has done are a very good idea, you get a lot of information in a very minimal amount of posts. However I suspect the majority of posts are likely to be for very personal requests and there's going to be a lot of repetition, as it's a fact of life that most people would rather start a new thread than search existing posts for a solution. With those I'm not so sure of the worth of transplanting them here wholesale.

As for these:

".. where as someone might want their guild posts and role plays saved".

I'd like very much to see more people visiting here as "players", I'm not in a position to need for my own right now but a location to gather and form campaigns is sorely missed. However again, I would also say that it's more prudent to post over there that this place exists and let them advertise when they wish to avoid copying reduntant posts.

As you say, it's going to be difficult to maintain a huge search facility in the way Bioware did, I don't think any one has the capacity. Perhaps some talk with those who run the Nexus and the NWN Community info site is a good idea to avoid duplication of effort.

The biggest thing is finding a way to support the community working together now the creators have cut the chord, but let's not do anything that causes anything that remains right now to crumble. :S

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kamal

Keeping copies of the database here should be no problem. The size of the files stored here already is probably 100X if not more than the db.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

For Omnibus purposes, we would want all the posts, as it's a searchable data base. This has already been done for the original Bioware NWN site, which I imagine is much larger than the posts from the new site.

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Baaleos

I've added the Scrapes to the Vault - they are under the Project

'Save the forums!'

I am working on getting more scrapes together - for Baldurs Gate and Dragon Age Inquisition.

Some of the game forums behave uniquely in their structure and layout - so its an adhoc development process.

 

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Tarot Redhand

<starts bowing and scraping while simultaneously tugging his forelock>

Thank you for this. Given that Dragon Age Origins is now available on GOG (I bought it years ago but when it, the expansion pack and the DLC became available for £5.99...), is there any chance you could grab that as well?

TR

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Baaleos

I've started migrating the data to mySQL Databases - for use in an SMF forum.

It appears to be working well.
http://smf.asmodei.net/index.php#c2

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Urk

Thank you for this!!!

I have always been terribly dependent on the Bio forums for my building. Especially where scripting is concerned. Losing that resource would be crippling. 

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blatob

Great! I see on the sire you provided that you got up to 2010? Is there any possibility that the original posters could keep their names from Bioware forum? 

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rjshae

The forum has been shut down.

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GCoyote
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