Tamriel Foundry

The Great Foundry Migration

Foundry Network LogoBehold, the new Foundry man!Esteemed Foundry community, as you have hopefully noticed as you read this Tamriel Foundry has arrived at our glorious new long-term home on the common Foundry platform which will power both Tamriel Foundry and our recently launched Ashes of Creation sister site, Ashen Foundry, for years to come! 

We are therefore extremely pleased to announce the creation of the Foundry Network which units these communities under a common platform with shared social systems. I am confident that this migration will have great benefits for the health and happiness of this community. The new Foundry platform is built in Django, a Python web framework, which empowers me to build some great features which will benefit both Foundry sites.

There was a significant amount of work required in order to achieve this migration, so I'd like to thank the many close friends of the Foundry who provided their assistance and advice while preparing for the move. I'd like to particularly thank @Latin, whose thorough feedback and testing assistance was extremely valuable.

If you're interested in learning more about what changes to expect, read on! Also, if you would like to get more involved with the Foundry community you are more than welcome to join our Discord Server where you can chat directly with other Foundry members. 

 

Notable Benefits


There are a number of key benefits of the migration, but also some downsides. I want to share some detail on the expected changes.

Shared User Network - Both sites will share a common user database with shared social features. Your current Tamriel Foundry username and password will continue to work, but the same user account will also be used if you decide to participate in the Ashen Foundry community. Social systems like Private Messages or Notifications will be common across the entire network.

Improved Front-Page Content Model - Currently, there is a strong separation on Tamriel Foundry between the forums where the members of this community create and share excellent content and the home-page of the site which is a separate "blog", authored by a limited subset of individuals (many of whom are no longer active in the ESO community). The content model on the new platform is handled very differently, there is no separation between the forums and the content displayed on the home page. What that means is that content creators in the community can create articles (topics) in the forum and the best articles will be automatically promoted to the front page. This will allow both for Tamriel Foundry to feature a much more active and healthy pipeline of content as well as giving the community members of the site with a cool opportunity to benefit from greater visibility of the content they create.

Platform for Ongoing Development - Perhaps the biggest advantage of migrating to this new platform is that it makes it much easier for me to develop new features that will benefit the Tamriel Foundry community. I want to continue adding value to Tamriel Foundry by deploying new features and supporting community member requests. This is difficult for me to support with the current platform both due to limitations in the technology as well as my own lack of interest in pursuing further WordPress development. Moving Tamriel Foundry to Django will give me a much more exciting sandbox within which to build that will empower me to add some long-requested features to Tamriel Foundry which can improve the quality of life for everyone who actively uses this site.

Beefier Web Host - As part of the migration process the site has moved to a new hardware stack on AWS. That improved hardware stack conveys numerous benefits including a more powerful web host, separation of web and database servers, and a better performing Redis memory cache. In short, Tamriel Foundry site performance and responsiveness should be a strong suit of the platform moving forward! 

Frequently Asked Questions


HELP! My ___ is broken!

If you encounter anything which isn't working as you would expect, please do not hesitate to reach out via email to [email protected], send me a private message, or ping me on Discord (Atropos#3814). I promise to work quickly to help iron out any issues that you might encounter.

Why is this happening now?

This was a great time to do the migration. We've been hard at work building new features for Ashen Foundry and really wanted to share those same improvements with the Tamriel Foundry community. The hard work behind this migration allows us to have a single shared user database, benefit from the same improved content model which puts YOU as the content creator right on the front page, and improve the ease of long-run maintainability for both sites by unifying them under a common code-base.

What happened to ___ feature from old TF that I really liked?

Some Tamriel Foundry features were not included in the migration. That being said almost anything that at one point existed on Tamriel Foundry can be re-created on the new platform if there is enough community interest to justify the effort. If you have feedback, please don't hesitate to share in our Suggestions, Bugs, and Feedback thread.

 

Not Everything Survived


Not everything which is currently a feature of Tamriel Foundry will survive the migration. The cost of migrating some features may not justify the value that they add. Some features which I am currently considering abandoning during the migration process include:

The Interactive Map - This is a cool application which could be restored in the future, but given that the data is badly out of date and many newly added zones are not present, I am reluctant to migrate this to the new platform. That being said, if there is a member in the community who would like to champion the interactive map project, I am open to working with some of you to rejuvenate it and update for the current state of the game.

Activity Feed - The "Facebook" style activity feed doesn't really fit into the paradigm of the new platform design, nor is it a frequently used page.

Guild Directory (Temporarily) - The effort to migrate guild functionality is somewhat higher than what is required for other content types. My current plans are to retain all of the Tamriel Foundry guild data, but reserve work on restoring a modified vision for guild functionality as a second phase of migration once core system migrations have completed.

Class Pages - There are lots of great resources for game information and our original vision for these pages was never realized. Some permanent pages which no longer have value for the current state of the game may be archived or removed.

 

Thank you all for your long-time support of the Tamriel Foundry community. I hope you all find the changes to your liking!

Andrew/Atropos

About Atropos:

I am a dedicated gamer and MMO enthusiast who has been involved with MMO communities since EverQuest. As the creator of Tamriel Foundry and Ashen Foundry, I love the challenge of building platforms and tools for MMO communities to flourish.

16 Replies
  1. #1

    Latin

    Moderator1258 Posts

    @Atropos Thanks for the heads-up regarding the future directions of TF.

    Having a user-generated/forum-driven front page will definitely bring life to the combined site, especially as AoC moves towards the Alpha and Beta stages over the next few months. The change will also provide the much needed update to TF and hopefully bring in more dedicated users.

    I feel that having popular or well-documented forum threads featured will also be conductive to engaging with site visitors (first time or otherwise) and help them keep track of current site activities. This may be particularly important with the removal of the Activity Feed. I don't know about others, but I have relied on it very heavily from my early days - it is a useful tool to help keep track of current (i.e. within the past few hours/days) discussion across the site, without necessarily needing to subscribe to individual threads; it enables one to keep eye out on the general theorycrafting and development, improving understanding even without having to run through entire discussions within the respective threads.

    The class and crafting pages have served their purposes in the early game, providing invaluable information to the early players regarding those particular aspects of the game. Now, with the wealth of information elsewhere on the Internet and the increasing floor of the community's understanding of ESO mechanics, perhaps they could be re-purposed or removed.

    Will existing correspondence messages on TF be preserved after the migration?

    I look forward to hearing from you, future updates regarding TF and the Foundry Network.

    e pluribus unum

  2. #2

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    Thanks for the great feedback @Latin. I think we'll be able to achieve a lot of what you are mentioning. We should chat about a couple specific points on Discord, but some thoughts that may be useful for the broader community:

    Latin wrote on December 22, 2017

    I feel that having popular or well-documented forum threads featured will also be conductive to engaging with site visitors (first time or otherwise) and help them keep track of current site activities. This may be particularly important with the removal of the Activity Feed. I don’t know about others, but I have relied on it very heavily from my early days – it is a useful tool to help keep track of current (i.e. within the past few hours/days) discussion across the site, without necessarily needing to subscribe to individual threads; it enables one to keep eye out on the general theorycrafting and development, improving understanding even without having to run through entire discussions within the respective threads.

    Really useful feedback, I had always had the impression based on my own usage and the analytics I see for site usage that Recent Topics is much more heavily used than the Activity Feed for monitoring latest discussion. Perhaps there is a way to have the best of both worlds by merging some features of each into a single view in the new platform.

    Latin wrote on December 22, 2017

    Will existing correspondence messages on TF be preserved after the migration?

    Yes! I will migrate private messages to the new platform and the PM system will be shared across both sites.

     

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  3. #3

    Drelkag

    Member8 Posts

    Great news.

  4. #4

    Isarii

    Moderator4239 Posts

    I'm really looking forward to this! The platform we have over at Ashen Foundry has been pretty awesome to see in action, and since so much of it was designed with improvements to Tamriel Foundry's model in mind, it only makes sense to roll the new hotness out over here now that we've got it running smoothly. Bright days ahead!

     

    Website | Youtube | Twitch

    The Dungeon Crawler Network | Ashen Foundry | Tamriel Foundry 

    MMOGames.com |

  5. #5

    n1k1toOs

    Member2 Posts

    Nice news )

  6. #6

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    Hey everyone, news update on things. The Tamriel Foundry migration work is going very well! Some aspects of the migration are taking a bit longer than I had expected, but I'm really happy with the progress so far. I am confident that with a bit more effort we will be able to launch the migrated site within the next couple of weeks!

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  7. #7

    Gedskel

    Member4 Posts

    Good news! Any idea on when this will go live?

  8. #8

    Latin

    Moderator1258 Posts
    Gedskel wrote on February 6, 2018

    Good news! Any idea on when this will go live?

    Soon.

    e pluribus unum

  9. #9

    Isarii

    Moderator4239 Posts

    Very soon, as it would happen.

     

    Website | Youtube | Twitch

    The Dungeon Crawler Network | Ashen Foundry | Tamriel Foundry 

    MMOGames.com |

  10. #10

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    I hope everyone is excited to see all the changes, I'm personally thrilled to have this big migration done!

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  11. #11

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    Hi all, I spent a while this weekend on performance optimization for the site on the new platform. It's not perfect yet, but I've made some big progress which I hope you can notice while using the site. There were two big problems that I've been dealing with:

    1. A huge amount of bot/crawler traffic that needs to be limited
    2. Some inefficient or non-optimized queries on certain views (like Recent Forum Activity)

    I made big progress on both fronts, limiting a lot of the scope that bots are allowed as well as optimizing the data model and query logic for forum structures. There's still more work on both fronts to do, but this is a start!

    Please let me know if you encounter any systematic issues or particularly slow-loading pages.

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  12. #12

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    Hi folks, even more progress today. I got front-end Nginx microcaching enabled which will serve static HTML content to users who are not logged in with a 15 minute expiration. This will help a lot with the bot traffic as well as organic user traffic. The benefits for those of you who are registered users should be significant! Please don't hesitate to leave feedback if you encounter any issues.

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  13. #13

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    Hi all, continued performance optimization today. We're still not totally where I want to be, but things are getting better. I've had to make a number of little adjustments to optimize things for the new hardware setup but your continued patience is appreciated. 

    I'm definitely seeing really snappy site performance in patches, followed by patches of sluggish and slow responses. The technology stack is definitely capable of being blazing fast, but at this point its an issue of eliminating bottlenecks that cause it to slow down.

    As always, please feel free to reach out with feedback via PM or email!

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  14. #14

    Ungoliant the Consumer

    Contributor1463 Posts

    I'll offer my own set of criticisms and praises of the new Tamriel Foundry. I hope they're worth reading.

    Having been a member of TF for many years now, joining only some months after its initial creation during the hype of the upcoming release of ESO, I've seen the leaps and bounds this site has made over they years - and it is this continuous progress and unfaltering dedication of its administrators and moderators that have kept me here. Tamriel Foundry remains to date one of my favourite sites to visit - I've made some great acquaintances here, and it's always been a familiar and aesthetic site (which makes a huge difference to whether people like it).

    This recent migratin has overhauled the site in many ways, and the technological benefits are undeniably very useful and fantastic no doubt for the admin - however the changes have for sure thrown me for a loop. While it's taken two steps forward, the site has taken another back - though don't mistake this for a misunderstanding, I know this is still a fresh migration and there are kinks to be worked out - which is why I'm writing this, as potential feedback that might be acted upon.

    My issues are as follows :

    - New log-in system. Before the log-in system recognised usernames as they were. I would log in as Ungoliant the Consumer, whereas the new system is slightly different - I now log in as ungoliant-the-consumer. It would be a non-issue, but I found no explanation of this, and when attempting to use the Reset Password option to abuse the auto-login after a reset to get in, I noticed the new formatting of my username in the e-mail which prompted me to attempt writing it as above (which clearly worked).

    It would help if there was a little direction regarding this for existing or returning members as, while only a minor setback, caused me to worry thinking I'd suddenly screwed up my password without realising or that my account hadn't survived the transfer - it was a scary waste of 10 minutes.

    - Navigation. The lack of drop down menus as before makes navigation a lot slower and more long winded. Also, lacking the message and notification tabs at the top of the screen and having notifications instead combined with the forums as an auto-redirect is a slight nuisance. It's a simplification that complicates things, which is sort of counterproductive. It may be a side effect of the migration, or an intended feature, but navigation is a lot slower now.

    Drop downs for the Forum and Community tabs would at least be worthwhile, as we had them before.

    - On the topic of 'as before', though this is personal preference, the new aesthetic... The previous aesthetic of the site, regarding fonts, borders, buttons, layout and more... it was far superior.

    It had a likeness to it that made TF unique, and almost (dare I be cheesy) cozy. The new aesthetic feels more synthetic, and as petty as this is,,. less fantastical than before. I thought it was far more befitting of an ESO site to have that aesthetic and it was definitely better looking and more interesting.

    - Profile changes. This may be an iOS issue, I've yet to check in my desktop PC, but profile bios are cut short. I've had a huge amount of stuff cut from mine that I'd at least like to be able to make a copy of, if not see it return in its entirety. That's a few hours worth of writing lost.

    Still, the most important point here is navigation. The site in its current state is less accessible than before the migration, and in my opinion could see some improvement.

    Regardless, fantastic work from everyone involved as the migration in itself was a fantastic feat and one well worth it for the improvements.

    ”What is bravery without a dash of recklessness?”

  15. #15

    Atropos

    Administrator3180 Posts

    Hey @Ungoliant the Consumer. Thanks a lot for your honest feedback, it's very helpful. I think you raise some good points which I'll try to address each in turn.

    Ungoliant the Consumer wrote on Feb. 19, 2018

    New log-in system. Before the log-in system recognised usernames as they were. I would log in as Ungoliant the Consumer, whereas the new system is slightly different - I now log in as ungoliant-the-consumer. It would be a non-issue, but I found no explanation of this, and when attempting to use the Reset Password option to abuse the auto-login after a reset to get in, I noticed the new formatting of my username in the e-mail which prompted me to attempt writing it as above (which clearly worked).

    It would help if there was a little direction regarding this for existing or returning members as, while only a minor setback, caused me to worry thinking I'd suddenly screwed up my password without realising or that my account hadn't survived the transfer - it was a scary waste of 10 minutes.

     Your feedback here makes a lot of sense, but it's tricky. If anything, the previously behavior on TF was a bit misleading (if perhaps convenient). To clear things up, there are 3 core attributes of your Foundry user profile:

    1. Your username is all lower case, no spaces or special characters, your username is what identifies you in the URL of your user profile (for example ungoliant-the-consumer). Your username is globally unique and may be used for login authentication.
    2. Your email address (which I won't share publicly) is also globally unique and may be used for authentication.
    3. Your "display name" which customizes how your name is visually rendered on the site may include capitalization, spaces, and some special characters. Your display name (in your case, "Ungoliant the Consumer") is not currently supported for authentication.

    I'll consider the benefits of allowing people to log in using their display name, although username or email is definitely the more sensible option (from a system architecture perspective).

    Ungoliant the Consumer wrote on Feb. 19, 2018

    Navigation. The lack of drop down menus as before makes navigation a lot slower and more long winded. Also, lacking the message and notification tabs at the top of the screen and having notifications instead combined with the forums as an auto-redirect is a slight nuisance. It's a simplification that complicates things, which is sort of counterproductive. It may be a side effect of the migration, or an intended feature, but navigation is a lot slower now.

     This is a good call-out, and something I will be actively working to improve. I had an initial pass at drop-down menus that I didn't like and so I deprioritized it in order to achieve the initial database migration. Now that things are ported over, I'll definitely be working to improve the menus and the quality-of-life features which make getting around the site and doing things easier. 

    Ungoliant the Consumer wrote on Feb. 19, 2018

    On the topic of 'as before', though this is personal preference, the new aesthetic... The previous aesthetic of the site, regarding fonts, borders, buttons, layout and more... it was far superior.

    It had a likeness to it that made TF unique, and almost (dare I be cheesy) cozy. The new aesthetic feels more synthetic, and as petty as this is,,. less fantastical than before. I thought it was far more befitting of an ESO site to have that aesthetic and it was definitely better looking and more interesting.

     This one I was a little bit surprised to hear because I feel like I was able to keep a lot of the core TF feeling preserved in the new theme. The overall styling in the new platform is definitely less well matured though, so I'll be making active improvements from here on to give both sites (TF and AF) some unique character. I'll take it as something to work on further!

    Ungoliant the Consumer wrote on Feb. 19, 2018

    Profile changes. This may be an iOS issue, I've yet to check in my desktop PC, but profile bios are cut short. I've had a huge amount of stuff cut from mine that I'd at least like to be able to make a copy of, if not see it return in its entirety. That's a few hours worth of writing lost.

     This maximum profile bio length change only affected a tiny number of users, unfortunately you were among them. I'll dig into the old database and pull out a copy of your previous user bio. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    Creator of Ashen Foundry and Tamriel Foundry. Former guildmaster of Entropy Rising. Economist and MMO enthusiast.

  16. #16

    Ungoliant the Consumer

    Contributor1463 Posts

    I completely agree with you regarding the authentication system, it was merely that I couldn't find any mention of the change, so it may prove confusing for returning or existing members that haven't logged in since the migration.

    Perhaps an asterisked example on the log-in page would be worth it for a couple months.

    e.g. Due to the changes made during migration, members must log in using their username, not display name.

    Joe Bloggs 101 = joe-bloggs-101

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

    Aesthetic is preference and you can always just ignore me there. It's similar for sure, the colours are almost identical, and the layout is still close to as it as was - still, there will be differing opinions so just take mine as one of the masses - as its not really something you can address as an issue - but rather a matter of 'some guy being a pedantic son of a-'. :)

    -----------

    Thanks for the bio confirmation. I noticed the new 5000-6000 character limit when I went to edit it last night. It's a shame, but I understand perfectly. I got your message, so many thanks for that.

    ”What is bravery without a dash of recklessness?”

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