Why I don't use Nova, but am excited for NextGen


crimsyn Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:18 pm

Why I don't use Nova, but am excited for NextGen

So, I guess the title says it all. I don't use Nova, and am kind of a holdover from the play-by-forum days. But, reading some of the news items from the developers, I'm getting the exact opposite feeling that I got from reading the dev blogs from D&D 5e (which was something like "gah! Why is Mearls trying to ruin D&D!"). It sounds like there are going to be big changes, and it's going to move into a positive and exciting direction, given the emphasis on storytelling rather than just content management.

Anyways, I'm on a few Nova simms, and I always appreciate the ease of content management there. When you're working on a JP, you don't have to play around with private messages and subforums and just hit submit. It really takes away a lot of the little workarounds that you have to do when using a medium that wasn't exactly designed for roleplaying (forums) and try to roleplay on them.

That said, I have a few little gripes about Nova, and one which is a dealbreaker.

The first is that it can be difficult for a user to navigate. When you have a forum, all the important information is linked to on the front page via subforums (a subforum where people post their bios, a subforum where you have ship specifications, a subforum where you have rules, etc.). Everything you need to know is just a couple clicks away and easy to get to. Whereas, I've found with Nova, it can be a little tricky to navigate because a lot of the time you have to be on a certain page to get to a certain page (for example, if you want to go to the stats page, you have to be on the Sim page), and that relationship isn't always immediately obvious, so people end up doing a lot clicking around trying to find (or re-find) things.

But the real deal-breaker for me is that Nova isn't very good for facilitating OOC discussion and community building compared to forums. I've seen people try to work around this by setting up an OOC forum, but that often ends up not working well because no one checks it. The OOC forum ends up being off in some other corner of the website (or worse, someplace like proboards) that no one ever looks at.

Whereas, in a forum simm, as soon as you log on, you can see subforums for mission planning, off-topic chatter, etc, which are on the front page. The forum even advertises new posts, so people are encouraged by their little "new unread posts" icon to read any unread posts in these subforums. It really facilitates and encourages this kind of discussion, because that's what forums were designed for. I find especially having a mission planning subforum encourages players to collaboratively plan out the mission, and collaborative writing is kind of what we're all here for.

I'm not saying this to bash Nova, but if Nova 3 somehow addresses this and finds ways to better facilitate OOC discussion and community building rather than just being a database of posts and other information, I might be a convert.

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