I attempted to use the support site, but the verification system apparently doesn't like my domain. Several retries and never received a verification email. Had to open a gmail account just to get into the forums and support. OTOH, it turned out my support issue was an issue in a .cfg file that I had edited, so call it even.
Leave the Support Forum as the main and sole option when requesting support.
Yes, as most people will do this anyways.
If possible, make it so a user must fill out a form upon the creation of a new thread within the forums, this way even if they do not read the stickies it will obligate them to insert at least some of the required information (less clean up work for mods).
People will not fill it out correctly.... when you make something idiot proof, the intenet builds a better idiot.
Create a new staff group called Support Group. These are users that have shown an interest in helping others, are knowledgeable with common issues, know basic troubleshooting, and are active members of the community (you may choose whichever requirements they must have of course, this is just an idea). These users would be the ones mainly responsible for answering support questions and reviewing the support forums (although everyone would still be able to help of course!). This group would have no moderation or administrative responsibilities. They would have one more important responsibility though, see next point.
Umm.... Yes and no.
Leave the support site but restrict the addition of new threads and editing to the Support Group. The site would function as a depository of previous problems and their solutions. Support Staff would add new Problem & Solution threads after an active support thread within the forums has been answered and resolved.
I would love to see it more as a knowledge repository of common issues that can be written and refered to. This would be much easier then how most of the people who have written how to's (me at least) do, with links in signatures and different post. Or others who have a copy-pasta document to reduce repeted typing. This would also help out that if somebody leaves or becomes less active, it would be easy to update the information on the page.
The advantages are:
By naming a Support Group you have a core group of users that you know can be counted upon to respond timely, correctly, and responsibly. Less work on the rest of the staff.
Alway Good, more time to make FTB Better for everybody!
You are still allowing regular users to assist and therefore have a pool from where to 'recruit' from towards the Support Group.
Having a Support Group allows the rest of the staff to focus more on their individual responsibilities, perhaps you can add a sub-forum visible to only Support Group members where they can post threads to be escalated to other staff based on the issue (Site Administrations, Launcher Staff, Mod Pack staff, etc...)
See above twice.
You will be able to maintain a Problem & Solutions depository that will be ever expanding, be always professionally organized (since only Support Group can edit it) and therefore easy to search for users.
Professionally organized? Maybe. If somebody is put in charge of it to keep it organized.
Users can find solutions to their problems easily in the Support Site without even having to register for an account anywhere.
True, but also they can do that be reading the forums.
Less support threads, more organization, which allows staff to concentrate on true bugs and problems and not just answering previously resolved problems or dealing with useless posts (or at least not as much as now).
This seems like a bit more work in the beginning, but pays off in the long run, especially as FTB grows in popularity and future mod packs are released.Very Very True.
I guess I am envisioning the support site more inline with windows Knowledge Base. Not the design, but the concept. Where certian people write howto's about common problems.
While it would be nice for a new class of users to be created, , I don't know if it is absolutly neccisary? We all help out as is, and I know I am not helping out just to get a differant status, I do it cause I like to.
I do think that the interface of the support site could be down a little better, but that is a personal opinion.
Would love to see tighter intigration between the wiki and the forum and the support site.
I know it is probable to much to ask, but he's a gamble....
Would it be possable to be able to have an area where if it is an actuall bug in a mod we can somehow easily allert the mod authors involved? Or at least have a POC here on the forum who they can alert the author?