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mrbasil avatar
mrbasil

Feedback for upgrading Basil?

Hey Basilers, hope you're well.

Allergies aside, I love this time of year! How about you?

I'd like to share my thoughts about the possibility of completely revamping BasilMarket so as to encourage more sharing. In short, if you're familiar with BZL I'm considering importing that engine to BasilMarket. Read on for more detail or if you're unfamiliar with BZL.

Pros
+ more focus on sharing screens / videos - they no longer require approval as you are encouraged to post as you would on a social media site - big and small achievements, funny stuff, etc.
+ the functionality and user interface are FAR superior and funner
+ your personal profile page is really awesome, check out WatchGintama as an example
+ your profile page has links to a number of external social media profiles if you have them, ie Twitch
+ when you stream on Twitch, a story is auto-created for you to help get you more viewers
+ the guild functionality works!!
+ you can log in / sign up with a variety of different methods (facebook, twitch, etc)
+ custom avatars (not player pic)
+ the PM system is a true live chat / texting experience, unlike the current setup which is more like sending an email
+ forum threads, screens and videos would be imported, ofc

Cons
- it's new - some of you are averse to shiny new things, but think of it as a bowl of poutine when you've only ever had french fries w/ ketchup
- avatars are no longer your player pic

Let me know your thoughts, concerns, suggestions!

Be well

3 September 11, 2017

47 Comments • Newest first

Defaulty

return to the old format

Reply March 14, 2019
Aznguy999

In the past, basilmarket has been for many, a place that was exclusive focused on the maplestory community.

With life changing, either within maplestory or in our everyday lives, Basilmarket too needs to change. How should basilmarket change? That's a completely different matter. But I suggest finding a specific niche and to do that well.

As a website, basilmarket is slow and its overall features are underdeveloped. From a mapler's point of view, if they need a guide there's ayumilove.net, and there are more discussions made on reddit r/Maplestory. For sharing content, there are social medias like facebook that does a good job at that.

While I do not mean to be negative about this site, I am simply find an objective that appeals to both your existing users and potential users. While there are alot to improve on, do remember there are better site and apps out there, I would suggest creating your site that connects well with these platforms. I was drawn into this site for auctioning purposes and would eventually enjoyed chatting the community whom which I would eventually get to know better and playing with them in-game. In terms of the web-development, there is this concept where software has a lifetime. As developers, we can only try to prolong the life expectancy of our software with good designs and practices. Once the problems get out of hand, it gets expensive and time consuming to both fix and restore it. Should you be ambitious enough to fix this site, best of luck. If you throw in the towel, it is understandable.

Reply March 8, 2019 - edited
Ecarina

Since this thread's already been Necro'd, Ark also isn't an option for class and my 2 characters I added like a month ago haven't been approved. My Ark doesn't even look the same anymore so if they ever get approved I'm just gonna have to change it again.

Like I get that you gave up on this site and all but an announcement about how you don't care anymore would be better than nothing right?

Reply July 20, 2018 - edited
Trapstar

Let me login with my Username please. I have no idea which of my many e-mails I used to create my account... Now I have another e-mail associated with this website because your system for 'Forgot e-mail?' recovery isn't great.
Love you~

Reply July 20, 2018 - edited
Fangblade436

Bully me every chance you get because I deserve it a googolplex percent.

Reply January 5, 2018 - edited
Coobs

Update KradiaEMS + DementhosEMS into Luna

Reply January 3, 2018 - edited
Ecarina

Can we get Cadena and Illium job sections? It can't be too difficult to just add those in, mine are listed as beginners and I want them to be listed more accurately.

Reply January 2, 2018 - edited
gevergis

In my opinion,

The worst decision you ever did was split up the community into multiple websites. Such a decision is more suitable when you have a massive community (such as teamliquid.net), where as our community is already small as it is. You should concentrate your efforts into one website and bring the whole community back together.

sc2sea had a community split, where one member created an independent website, leading the already tiny S.E.A sc2 community to be fractured, and it never recovered.

To be honest I am not too sure what else can be done. Whatever ideas I throw out would be ideas without any proper reasoning.

The last thing I can say for sure is, you need to be active in your own website, I understand you're busy. The owner of sc2sea stoppped being around and eventually the website just died with very few users. This means the owner being present has a massive effect.

Reply December 25, 2017 - edited
MrSatan

Honestly I just want old basil layout back. Fudge this new chip. Oh also remove the filters, its annoying af.

Reply November 25, 2017 - edited
SunsetChaos

@mrbasil with the upcoming removal of the fm, now might be the time to re-implement auctions like old days, maybe with improvements. Would likely bring back some life to this site. Personally I go on a certain fm site way more than basil, because it's actually useful, sort of a replacement to old basil, though not for long cus of upcoming changes. That's where you can step in like old days!

Maplestory subreddit aside, TFW the official forum seems more of a "better" relevant/active forum than basilmarket as a maplestory forum nowadays.

"The reality is that the prior version was hated too when it came out, and the one before that and the one before that." True, I didn't particularly liked the previous version, but it was at least imo better than the current one. Still had the iconic basil + profile character bar up top too. I do prefer the old site, everything just felt more compact and easier to see stuff. The current site everything felt big, more spread out especially vertically, lots of scrolling, maybe good for scrolling down on mobile, but still... What I really liked were the really OLD versions, not just the previous few versions.

Also, what's with the big dark gray/black bars above and at bottom of site? (although not as bad as the bars, background is gray too, maybe make it white?) Overall it all looks ugly boring/dull gray aged void that lost its colors and youthfulness, dying of old age. Where did the bright colorfulness and cheerfulness of old days basilmarket go? Bringing back some colors to this site would be a good start.

So I just did a bit of googling and holy crap, comparing them to current site proves my points...
http://www.basilmarket.com/screen/Maplestory-BasilMarket-Screen-227304-1.jpg
http://s3.amazonaws.com/bzzagent-bzzscapes-prod/basil-market-lrg.png
http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm250/Evilish2236/LOOOL.jpg
http://web.archive.org/web/20060613081353/http://basilmarket.com/

On a sidenote, old maplestory site I find it kind of fitting and brings back nostalgia... imagine if we have a basilmarket that looks something like this...
http://i.imgur.com/rowhVsh.png

TLDR; sorry, but I put my heart and soul into this rant, please read it and tell me what you guys think/feel about all this.

Reply November 22, 2017 - edited
Yaggi

I don't know if it's just my phone, but I can't seem to view the thread starter's post/text on mobile. I'm able to see comments though.

Reply November 12, 2017 - edited
DutchDelight

Please fix the mobile version.
I'm an old basiler/maple player (since 06), so now and then I lurk here and use this site for information.
However, I use my mobile a lot when surfing on the web and the mobile version of basil is really a pain.
I can't read the threadstarters written text, cause on my phones screen it dissapears. I'm only able to read the replies of the thread.
I also can't see the avatars of profiles and opening images and video's is also a problem.
I've tried to use other browser apps, but still having all these above problems when using other apps.

Hopefully, my feedback will be useful so in the future I'll be able to properly visit Basil on my mobile phone

- Mishiku

Reply November 11, 2017 - edited
GekkeGerrit

I like MrBasil the way it is (and i love the Fawlty Towers association) because my maple life and my none maple life are two completely different entities which dont need to be mixed up.

Having said that, i would love some more grafic functionality, although i think it silly we cant use our game avatars for that.

I think MrBasil has a bit off the same retro feel that Maple has, and thats why i feel at home here, just the way it is now.

Reply November 1, 2017 - edited
mischy

It's been a long time Basil is still hanging in there huh. (: I checked out BZL I'd probably set up my social links and post my art if Basil converted. I did always like the avatars though.

Reply October 27, 2017 - edited
LovelyRosa777

Hey I just came back to this site after a while and made a new thread, and instead of posting it once, it posted like 50 times...

Reply October 24, 2017 - edited
janny1993

why not start by updating your item lists and set effects?

Honestly speaking, there's literally no site with an updated list of items in MapleStory these days...

Reply October 14, 2017 - edited
Caeg

Your website is broken again. You can't see the text OP made in his post while running mobile.

Reply October 12, 2017 - edited
draklordkill

After reading through all the thought-out comments by the many players over the century of mapling, I agree with them that the Auctioning was the main function that made BasilMarket back in 2005. As times progressed like Mr.Basil has stated things changed and auction brokers opened up in game and changes had to be made to keep Basil a place where players still visited daily.

Many individuals have mentioned bringing back Auctions, but honestly that would be hard like you even said Mr.Basil because of the StarForce and much random things to add onto each different equip. It would be awesome if you could just post a picture or something like most do on forums to sell an equip it would be easy and seamless. Facebook and many other websites integrated it an auction house with Image, brief description and price. If funding is needed I am sure many old maplers like myself and other would be more than happily to donate and assist to best of our abilities.

I love the easy navigation with the top bar on basil, as well the different communities which thrive through Basil itself and continue to expand. It has created a better website. The one thing I do miss the highlight of the screen shots, now it is just like any other website you go to forums first and screens to the side, it was nice to see them separate from the video's, it just bundled together now. It was also a highlight to see how many users were online at the same time as I was! There was the latest screen section to one side, ending soon one side with new auctions, new stuff and few other tabs and now it's just forums on the main page and everything else to one side. I enjoyed the forums being complied before, like it " warrior, bowman, thief, archer", then it was "mechanic and new classes ect.." now its completely separate and takes up a-lot of space on the first page now.
Basilmarket when I used it back in 2005 was for auction and meet new friends. I enjoy basil even to this day, but this is my two cents for the evening. Thank you for reading in advance, - HSS

Reply October 11, 2017 - edited
mmorpg

I am still getting the blank thread post on the mobile site. It happens on desktop too when my browser window is resized.

Reply September 30, 2017 - edited
BloodyNoses

I just dislike the fact that the community was allowed to die off, i mean the reason basil became more and more useless to most of the players was the fact that people stopped uploading guides here. And well if you want chat, reddit came along so that part died/split too. Back at the very beginning basil had the most dedicated of forum type guides for nearly everything, quests, jq guides, training guides etc. Not to mention the fact that people sold items here which for many kids was a free fm of sorts. Regardless of drama or new looks, basil has lost the majority of its original consumer base and its almost never gonna get it back now with discord and reddit being there. The spirit of the community here died, and thats the biggest thing. Just the art forums back in the day were bigger than this entire site is now.

Reply September 27, 2017 - edited
Beefly

I'd like to direct you to this thread I made awhile ago regarding locked threads.

http://www.basilmarket.com/Stop-locking-threads-also-stop-bumping-them-Thread-b5LBS

In short, due to basil's declining population, I'd like it if threads were no longer locked, but no longer bumped to the front page after a certain period of time. Allow a subscription button to the thread to notify subscribers when a new comment is added to the thread. This leaves old topics to continue to be discussed by interested community members who check this site monthly.

It is extremely discouraging to continue a thread if it is locked, asking a mod to unlock it every time when they may not even be online at the time. Inactivity is unfortunately the norm here, which makes empty threads locked way too early. I understand the function was originally to prevent bumping, but at this point I'm fairly certain the lock function is more harmful to the basil community's health than "[url=https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=necroposting]necroposting[/url]". I'm honestly not sure why locking was introduced as opposed to simply making the thread unable to touch the frontpage yet allow comments. Why is it that BZL doesn't lock threads? It even has a latest comments section which I believe would be excellent to have on basil.

Reply September 27, 2017 - edited
Chema

The quoting system is garbage
The website is broken on small screen devices (phones, tablets, etc)
The avatars are still gone
The hamburger menu is nausea inducing
I am on my phone and I can't even read this, or any, thread, they all are blank; it's been like this for months (Bar the title, I don't even know what this thread is about as I am typing this)

On big screen devices the (once) side menus are on the bottom

This website has become utter garbage, feels like an abomination made by a college freshman

Tell whoever is developing this excuse of website to stop working on master and learn to use branches ffs

Reply September 22, 2017 - edited
Masinko

I didn't read all of what @bleute said, but I agree with the begining of what he said. The main aspect of this site (outside of auctions) has been the forums.

I look at the current and older basilmarket layouts and I see and og-forum or something reddit-like, where it's made for discussions. I think the new layout takes away from it. I think the forum format should be preserved to a certain degree, whether it's a hamburger menu leading you to the forums, or if the right where you have forums in BZL is basically a condense version of the middle container you have holding all the forums here. But whatever you decide to put on the main page, there should be a way to view all the forums as easily as it is right now.

I look at bzl and see a twitter. Twitter is great for people sharing quick ideas, pics, videos. The platform you have for bzl is a great social media platform for the game, and I do encourage it. With the current layout of the site, it's hard to see people's art and videos, and stories; they're all flushed to the side. Also, no body uses the current PM/DM system anymore due to it not being as good as what's available with instant messaging for today's standard.

Is it possible with the new engine to also like/favorite all your favorite stories, forums, etc with the new layout? From my eight years of being on this site, there were countless screens that I can't find anymore that I liked. There were also old threads that I liked / subscribed to that I can't find anymore. It would be nice to have an easy way to access all your saved/liked history.

Reply September 21, 2017 - edited
Wellness

Hello @mrbasil: I am replying in an untimely manner since I was thinking about it and unsure of what would get me to come or be engaged. It is a complex issue for me since partial the reason why I may not be engaged as some of the normal/popular users is some introversion and lack of anything I deem worthy to talk about, so then I would have to put in effort to find something on my part to be engaged.

But also, if there were healthy discussion and the community would be engaged with me, then someone like me would be more likely to continue to go to and become attached to bzl. Unfortunately, most of the discussions I am in become toxic in some form, so I tend to shy away from them unless I think of it as important.

Reply September 19, 2017 - edited
VivaBasura

i wish this thread http://www.basilmarket.com/Draw-the-above-person-in-MSPaint-Thread-bxEZR would stop closing itself

Reply September 18, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

@schokoshake: so I've heard (re: Edge). Do lmk if you find any other issues or have any other suggestions pls.

Reply September 17, 2017 - edited
Schokoshake

@mrbasil: No worries at all! If I didn't want to save space on my partitioned hard drive, I wouldn't even be using Edge either cause it's hot garbage. I wouldn't even worry about it so much, but just now you know if someone has some issues with the way the website looks, the web-browser could be the culprit!

Aha, I understand. That makes sense, especially since the focus is meant to be on Maplestory, after all.

Thank you for getting back to me

Reply September 16, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

@schokoshake: sorry to hear again about the Edge issues. I wish I could dedicate more time to that, but Edge represents 2.29% of our userbase. I'll put this on my list but I don't know when I will be able to look into it, I don't think I even have Edge on my computer.

Regarding the level 30 barrier, it's just that - a barrier to spam / idiocy. I wish we didn't have to, but we've had some issues with problematic posts/posters. Thanks for MacGyvering your way in!

Reply September 16, 2017 - edited
Schokoshake

@mrbasil: Wow! I'm a poor victim or circumstance and that's why I'm reduced to this crappy Microsoft Edge . But yes, when I had checked on Google Chrome later, it didn't have any of the problems that had occurred before!

Also, thank you for letting me know alternative ways to create a character! Thankfully, I had already MacGyver'd my way into doing it, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to even leave this comment right now.

Is there any particular reason why there is a "Must have a character at level 30" barrier to entry to posting on this website? That's been a new feature I hadn't seen before.

Reply September 15, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

@helpingly: incentives are cool, but the challenge is to keep the site clean too. Eventually it might be cool to show (ie, below the tag list when viewing a story) that certain high-level commenters / likees have commented on a story / thread?

@wellness: do you yourself play anything other than MS? Watch anime? Curious from your point of view what would REALLY engage / convince you / someone like you to partake in BZL.

@beefly: hah! funny clip

@bleute: Thank you for such a lengthy reply, great feedback. I agree - forums are definitely here to stay, they are invaluable. I also agree that innovation is what's needed, not wholesale replacement. There is a strong temptation to revert to the way things were, but @wellness does a great job of touching on a lot of reasons why some of these features were changed / removed. I'll summarize.

1. the in-game system is what killed it on Basil, mainly. That and the incredibly complex set of options that you can now have (star force, enhancements, scroll, scroll fails, etc etc). I ended up merging it with stories so that you could say, for example, B> or S> and list the relevant item / stats or even post a pic. I could probably do something to showcase those posts better?

2. I think this was fun, but a niche feature that could be resolved by an expanded stories functionality (read the end of my comments below for that)

3. I don't think there's much being filtered at the moment.

4. Yes, I could work on that. Thanks for the push.

5. A lot of that has either been removed or never there to begin with, for the purpose of not complicating things and for keeping posts clean. I know that some sites let you go nuts, but then the forums look like crap, imho, because people (ab)use these features. Right now you can write text and post a link, I'm not convinced that other formatting options really add value or empower discussion.

Great Bruce Lee quote! Here's a fun Guy Fieri quote - "Cooking is like snow skiing: If you don't fall at least 10 times, then you're not skiing hard enough."

In short, I think a lot of your suggestions would be remedied by the new setup that BZL uses. Everything is story-focused, so people are encourage to share more casually (ie, I'm not moderating what does / does not go on the front page).

@schokoshake: hey, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, we did have something like that. Time will tell if it encourages more activity. It certainly seems to be! There's been a really fun flurry of posts and chatter lately.

Regarding the browser, I didn't know people use Edge? Have you tried another browser on your Mac? Sorry to hear it's not at all optimal for you. FYI, you can add a player via Menu > Maplestory > Add > Player. Let me know via PM if you have issues in the future please.

@wellness brings up some valid thoughts about why the MS / Basil community have changed over the years. It's really tough to point fingers at any one thing. But the fact is that people are still very much playing the game, Nexon is still creating new content and Basil is still very much alive. With your feedback, I hope to make it even better!

Reply September 15, 2017 - edited
Wellness

Hello @bleute: , great ideas. I believe suggestions 4 and 5 would be improvements. Bringing back profile videos and pictures would bring back a personalized look to the profile page, and adding posting buttons would improve the user-friendly environment and streamline the user's introduction to the website. My suggestion would be to make sure to add it to the hover over at the bottom to maintain the sleek look.

For suggestion 1, I'm not sure if it would be an improvement since people had shied away from it previously due to Maplestory's changing market environment (quicker market trades, shops), and now they added the auction house.

For suggestion 2, I would be reluctant to bring this back since it seemed a bit troublesome to worry about if your picture was liked, and the fashionistas had thrived without it. Perhaps fashion just died out with the declining user-base.
For suggestion 3, Maplestory still has its filter, promotes a kid-friendly environment, and markets the game to a younger audience, so perhaps lacking a filter on this site would cause trouble with them. Also, it should include an on/off option, as I personally would rather not see blatant cursing. A lot of the time it's just attacks/inappropriate things. Before, Basilmarket had a more laid-back, near sophisticated and cerebral environment. I enjoyed that as something different than say a free-for-all like Facebook and Twitch. Allowing inappropriate words may detract from that.

Also, it seems like you have thought this through, but one thing that I haven't seen hinted about is the effect of the changing Maplestory community environment and voice on Basilmarket. What I mean by this is the pay2win(big bang), mts, account hacking, community service debacles that have caused a chaotic environment mentally and caused a declining user-base -- that could perhaps caused people to shy away from anything Maplestory related. There is also the other side to growing up. Perhaps people grew out of playing Maplestory and moved on to more career-oriented things like college, and thus had no reason to come to Basilmarket besides nostalgia. Perhaps the current Basilmarket population are younger or maverick types who don't worry about societal expectations (for instance, people may view it weird to be browsing a site with cartoonish avatars from a cartoonish children's game) or are more compulsive or habitual in nature, and the users who have left could be more orthodox and could need a different strategy to be engaged. I have seen this be the case on occasions with some popular users and friends. Do you have thoughts on this?

Reply September 13, 2017 - edited
Beefly

@mrbasil: I have no issue with any other section, but #Art and Illustration just eats my images and displays nothing besides text. What is the image size/file size limit?

In a fit of rage, I posted a picture of bee butts in the Chat section instead.

Reply September 12, 2017 - edited
Schokoshake

I'm quite intrigued by the number of people who are interested in the "Level" system of BZL. I coulda swore the last time I actively used Basilmarket (about 3 years ago when I last played Maple), the website had badges and things that you could earn and "level" up, so to speak.

Has that badge system been removed from Basilmarket?

On a side note, getting back into this website hasn't been quite the easiest of operations. After reading Mr. Basil's comment about optimizing the website for mobile use, I checked the website out for myself on my phone. It actually looked MUCH better than the previous version from before, but interestingly enough, it looked MUCH better than the browser version of Basilmarket I'm using right now.

ADMITTEDLY, I'm using this crappy Microsoft Edge web-browser (I partitioned space on my Mac to run windows, so didn't wanna download Chrome), so maybe that's why the website doesn't look as good. Hell, I almost couldn't make a thread/comment/post because of the website requirement that you have a level 30 character in conjunction with the fact that this notification was being covered by an advertisement so I couldn't even click on the link to add my character!

TLDR: Wasn't there already a badge system in maple? Basilmarket mobile UI = Fantastic, Basilmarket web browser UI = not great (on Microsoft Edge).

Reply September 12, 2017 - edited
Beefly

@bleute: [video=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH1Q738UEsQ]

Reply September 12, 2017 - edited
Bleute

I think you should keep the two websites as separate entities. The layout of each one has both its advantages and disadvantages, and though there are people who think forums are becoming outdated, to me I think it is a mistake to believe this. Many people will always have a preference for communicating their ideas over forums with structure and organization. I've always found that when it comes to innovation, it's best to expand upon tried and true methods rather than experiment with things out of the blue.

Whenever I seek to improve things, I like to study the reactions and criticisms of its user-base, with extra focus being placed on examining the input of the more competent, experienced, hardcore users or "veterans" who really know what they're talking about. It's not necessarily a "general consensus" per-say, but rather a sort of consensus derived from viewing things in an almost zen-like, subconscious manner in order to really have an idea of what works, and what doesn't.

Just by examining this site over the years, it seems that what most people want (and subsequently what will draw in more users, thus more revenue) is a layout that's sort of a hybrid between the old one and new one. While it's natural for people to resist change for nostalgia's sake, it's important to examine these things from a more critical standpoint and focus on making gradual, small changes in order to improve something. This method allows one to have more control over each individual component, such that if a new concept isn't quite working or is inferior to what came before it, it can be reverted back to the its former self.

Now let me get to the specifics of what can be done in order to make this site better. If one is to use the (very effective) method for examination that I mentioned, they would realize that the auction feature was a primary selling point for this site, and since a large portion of the userbase came here solely for this function, its removal completely eliminated the need for them to come to this site. I have a good comparison for this.

Shortly after high school, I worked at a Sears store for nearly three years until it shuttered its doors and went out of business. It's well known that the company has been in decline for decades, and while this decline is partly due to the overall decline in brick and mortar retail because of online retailers like Amazon and ebay, it would be a grave mistake to believe that this is the sole reason or primary one. From my observations (and not just mine but those of accredited experts as well) one of the major missteps that Sears made was selling off its sole stake in the Craftsman line of tools. In the past, many customers shopped at Sears because it offered things that were much different from its competitors, one example of this being that it was the only place you could buy Craftsman tools. By making it so that you could buy Craftsman tools at places other than Sears, this eroded a large part of its customer base. This, and the fact that the washers, dryers, and other appliances they sell are now of inferior quality to what they had once sold in the past should offer a lesson (or template if you will) to anyone, and not only to those who run businesses, but to anyone wishing to improve, improvise, update, or enhance any product, system, machine, device, or user experience anywhere or with anything. Stick to what you're good at--stick to what makes you uniquely you or what makes your brand or product stand out from the crowd--and go big at it or go home. Do this, and you'll be at the forefront; the go-to place for everyone who wants that unique thing you have to offer that can't be found anywhere else. Fail to do this, and you'll be another Sears; a once shining thriving jewel that lost its shine and became lost in the dustbin of history.

With that being said, let me briefly outline some changes that should be done in order to improve this site.

1. Bring back the auction section. Expand it, improve on it, and integrate it seamlessly with this version of the site and whatever comes in the future. Doing this would restore the merchant userbase.

2. Bring back player likes, and expand it to include feedback when you click on each individual player that someone has. This allows people to discuss each others' NX outfits and ask specific questions such as "Is that a Royal hairstyle?" or "What's the name of your shirt? I'd like to know so I can owl it in the FM." Doing this would restore the pixel-happy userbase.

3. Remove the curse filter, as well as any and all forms of vocabulary censorship. This game has been around for over 13 years now, and most of its users are (or should be) secular adults who can and should be able to handle secular adult language. Doing this would restore the secular adult userbase.

4. Restore the old user profiles. The primary showcase in the old version was the user's videos and artwork, whilst in the newest version the primary showcase is merely their post history. People are drawn to exciting this; shiny, colorful, moving things. Post history is boring. Pictures and videos are exciting. More people would return to this site if this feature were restored. Furthermore, user profiles could then be in the position to be expanded or updated to be even better than they ever were before, by including things such as a biography, post count, user levels, and a space for them to provide links to stuff like their YouTube channels, facebook pages, and Twitter. The key to making improvements is to keep what works and back off of or reverse a change if it isn't working.

5. Improve the functionality of posting. This includes implementing a more proper post box with buttons for color, bold text, underlined text, and italics, as well as a post preview button. I'd also like to point out that there's also this annoying little glitch where if you spend 'too much time' (whatever that threshold may be) typing up a post, an "error" message comes up after you click "Add my comment". This is a big no-no. This makes people very upset because they have to retype their entire post again from scratch. Most of the time they'll probably just give up and run away; far, far away. Probably forever.

Note that this is only a summary, or shortlist of my observations. My list of things that should be changed or improved is much bigger than this, so for the sake of posting length and organization, it would probably be unfeasible for me to discuss them all right here. If you'd like to go into further detail with me about this, just PM me here or talk to me about it through skype, discord, email, facebook, or whatever works.

I'm not a big quote person, as I often find many quotes to be corny and misplaced, so I prefer to explain things using my own words. If, however, for the sake of convenience, if one feels that this post is too long and not worth the time to read, here's a nice little quote that almost perfectly sums up what I'm saying:

"Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own." - Bruce Lee

Reply September 12, 2017 - edited
Wellness

@mrbasil: Yes, that's the idea flying around inside my head. I agree there is still usage for a Maplestory fan-site even with the game's decline, so I suppose it isn't necessary to do away with Basil.

@helpingly: This may be an issue. From my perspective, bzl is more vibrant and the community is more engaged. I think people would be more interested in participating in that kind of environment. But then as you say, if the identities were to be merged, it could cause problems and people may not be willing to participate anyway since it's different.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
Helpingly

@wellness: Surely a good idea, but the biggest problem with something like this is that the two have completely separate identities. Basil is pretty much solely dedicated to Maplestory, whereas BZL is more about art, games, and music.

@mrbasil: Big fan of the levels, a great way to encourage activity. Maybe you should offer some incentives for reaching a certain level? Like adding a badge or some icon to the profile page if you're a certain level commentor or whatever.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

@wellness: hey, ty for the feedback. Can you clarify what you mean about redirecting to BZL? You mean do away with Basil and just have it take you to BZL.co/MapleStory-game instead? If so, I think there's still a lot of love and fun to be had with Maple and I want to support that as much as I can. So much so that I would still like to take some time so as to encourage even MORE activity + sharing. Part of me really likes your idea because it simplifies things, but I imagine most people would not be as open to the idea as you?

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
Wellness

I wish I had some ideas, but I'm not in-tuned with the site and people at the moment. I'm one who doesn't care as much about the layout, and it looks like most of the bugs/kinks have been worked out over time.

Would it be bad to redirect the site to bzl instead of having the two separate?

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

@ecarina: Thanks for the feedback. You're right, it was reductive. I am constantly editing what I say because I think after a sentence or two most people get bored and scroll on. The topic of people not liking change is a complex one, no doubt. I am not making light of it so much as keeping it light, if that makes sense.

You say new Basil isn't an improvement on old. The reality is that the prior version was hated too when it came out, and the one before that and the one before that. If we never evolved we'd still look like we were stuck in 2005. I know some of you think you'd like that, but there are some key issues, notably mobile phones, that force change.

Thanks for the pointer about the missing help link near the comment box, it's back now, though admittedly bare because the site is intentionally simpler now. I appreciate your points about the avatars, it's a cool thing to have and I can understand that it would be disappointing to have it removed. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

Re: BZL
- intentions - I saw many people / my own in-game friends leaving MS, and wanted to create a place where we could all stay in touch and still talk / share.
- levels - this is just a fun way to keep track of your activity, similar to how MS lets you level up certain traits. It's purely for fun - "oh, I'm a level 30 commenter, awesome".
- sharing links - this ties back into my original intentions for BZL - to help you keep in touch with your friends. The thinking is that you follow each other and can share / talk and thereby ignore what doesn't interest you. This is kind of similar to Reddit, I believe?
- forum - BZL does actually have a forum too now - https://www.bzl.co/forum

I see your point about the BZL feed / sides, I'll think that one over as it's an interesting challenge.

Thanks for the great feedback, I love lengthy replies - it shows you care and provides great granular info on specific issues / suggestions. It's much appreciated. Good luck with your paper! Sorry to hear you're having to do lengthy papers already...

@beefly: good feedback, so you find the process to add a little unclear? I have thought about making topic selection a requirement but thought people would find it too restrictive. I can see that the lack of forced structure can actually have the adverse effect of making it feel as though your posts don't really belong anywhere. Maybe if I set it so that you have to at least select a top-level category (ie, #Art) you can be taken directly to the bzl.co/art page immediately afterwards to make it clear that your post now belongs? Would that help?

Maintaining momentum and getting people to chat / share stories is a challenge because I think people's perception of activity (or lack thereof) is a catch-22. I am very confident that there's a kind of magical point where it's evident that the site is very alive and that would encourage others to partake more and revisit more. I appreciate your feedback on how I can work on that. Let me know if you have other thoughts, I think you're definitely on to something.

@uwotm8: thanks for the feedback!

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
Beefly

@ecarina: ~5 of my characters are legit, the other 4 are not. It's because I learned how to draw after I made those ~5 (I added my BaM twice).

OT: It's a bad timing for me to get back into maple, I would be using BZL much more often if it came about a year ago because I was playing other games. Well no I wouldn't, around that time I tried making a basil account and it got automatically deleted, so I kind of just gave up for a few months until I touched maple again.

I think one thing that BZL needs is a more obvious thread section and thread placement. Like I'm trying to submit a drawing there, but uh.. what do I do? Do I just make a thread?

The other threads I made I'm not sure if I even placed it in any section, so I assume it doesn't have one and several other threads probably don't either which means they're just lost. This also means the sections are emptier than they could be. Chat in BZL is practically non-existent, and I blame the hashtag system for that, you don't need to type that nor add it to any section. I suggest BZL should make people choose a section in order to create a thread just like basil does. Then there wouldn't be any lost threads, and each section would update much faster.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
Ecarina

That con is really reductive. People don't generally like change, but they come around to it when it's an improvement. The new Basil site is not an improvement on old Basil, which is why so many users still don't like it, and saying that "some of you are really averse to shiny new things" makes it look like you're ignoring criticism. Old Basil, for instance, showed your character at the top of the page, that was nice, it made it feel personalized, and it was an easier way of telling whether or not you were logged in than the current site. The comment box also doesn't show you how to post links or anything like old Basil did.

The second con is a pretty big turn-off for me. I like my character being my avatar, I'm proud of her. One of the major reasons I come back to Basil so often is because it's an easy way to keep track of my characters, their levels, etc. when logged out of ms.

As for BZL, I haven't really found any use for it to be honest. I come to Basil to talk about MS, and if I wanted to talk about anime or games, there are sections on the forums for that. BZL always just seemed like it was splitting the community for no real reason.

Additionally, and I'm not sure if this is the case if you actually make a BZL account, the feed seems unnecessary. Looking at it right now, I don't care that joblessjim is streaming Overwatch, I don't play Overwatch. There's also a lot of empty space once you scroll down. Facebook, for instance, only scrolls the news feed while shortcuts and the chat box stay with you. It seems like using BZL would involve a lot of scrolling all the way up to the top in order to see anything else. This isn't as big of an issue, since Twitter and Tumblr do the same thing, but I do think making the options scroll with you would be an improvement.

Looking at the pros:
-I've never shared a screen or video but judging by the complaints about Basil's system, this seems like it would be an improvement
-I'd have to disagree, I think even with the inferior UI on new Basil compared to old Basil, it's still better than BZL.
-BZL's profile page seems better, I'm a little confused about the levels but that seems like a good feature. I just hope that, if Basil does incorporate this, we can still upload our characters. I like having my character organized.
-I'd rather not. Granted I don't stream anyway, but if I did I think I'd rather avoid telling Basil about it. Some of the people here are kinda... y'know
-Guild functionality is good.
-I don't really see how logging in through multiple platforms is an improvement.
-Custom Avatars seem fine for other people, but I personally prefer player pics. They let you know a little about how the person plays the game, whether they spend nx or whether they have character themes like @Beefly, etc.
-I guess I'm kind of neutral on the PM system. I don't use it often anyway.
-Ok.

I think the main issue with BZL is that it's set up like a social media, whereas Basil is a forum. They're different.

Sorry for the long comment, I've been writing a paper for a class so I feel like everything I say has to be 5x longer than necessary to hit an arbitrary page count.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

Cool, ty for the further explanation @gakinotsukai. To be clear, BasilMarket and BZL would still be separate. BZL is a place to discuss all kinds of games (not just MS) + anime + shows, whereas Basil will remain a place to talk about MapleStory.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
GakiNoTsukai

I actually don't use bzl myself or lurk on there. It's just that when I'd click on a screen/video on the side it usually linked me to bzl. Well that and @friedclam's food photos are unavoidable.

As for overall, I've been a member of basil for 10 years now and it just still seemed like the goto site for things related to maple where bzl was anything that anyone really felt like talking about. Maybe it's nostalgia or maybe just more of an automatic reaction but I don't really get the feeling of chatting about maplestory on bzl than I do from basil. So I didn't really bother looking at bzl as a source to discuss things maple. That's most likely the reason why I didn't bother making an account there.

If you make the decision to upgrade or merge I don't think it'll be a bad thing, it's just going to be some getting used to.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
mrbasil

@gakinotsukai ty for the feedback. BZL actually arose from Basil's stories. But it's way more powerful in that a story on BZL can be a screen, video, news, opinion, etc etc but WAY less serious than a blog. Also, when you post a link the site will automagically get a screen / video / tag and it's all nicely organized and modern. And it works well on mobile!

Can I ask - why did you decide to just lurk and not join on BZL?

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited
GakiNoTsukai

I wouldn't be opposed to it. I truly feel basil lost one of it's main selling points when you could no longer create auctions.

I've poked around bzl a few times and it's like people having their own blog pages. When screens/vid/stories are one of the main areas with activity, I don't see why not.

Reply September 11, 2017 - edited