Good afternoon gamers! I am excited today to finally showcase and officially announce the next major PlayerSquared update!

Roughly a year ago, we made the conscious decision to switch away from MyBB to vBulletin. We did this in order to improve certain aspects of the website - namely, whenever we pushed a MyBB update, it would break quite a lot of stuff on site. Switching to vBulletin 4 made sense as there would likely be no further software updates, and that meant we could rewrite parts of the codebase ourselves to fix issues and add new features. However, as time has gone on, in order to push PlayerSquared further and to achieve what we would like it to, it has become increasingly more apparent that vBulletin is not a suitable enough platform for us. So, we are switching again!

What are we going to this time? Our own custom software base, of course!

This new codebase has been fully written by us, and will serve as a solid foundation for us to build upon for the foreseeable future. It’ll finally allow us to do some of the things we have previously been unable to do, including building in a good achievements system. It also gives us greater control over the look and feel of the website as templates will no longer be stored in the database, and will compile on the fly (or retrieve a cached version if necessary). In addition, we’ll also be able to have much deeper control over our caching and will enable us to add even more speed optimisations to the website, as well as finally offer a useful mobile version of the site.

So, what’s in and what’s out?

We are making some significant changes to the overall structure of the forum system. The biggest single change is the removal of subforums. Subforums are very archaic and do not help the structure of threads and posts. It hides content far too much, which is not good for the authors, or for us. Instead of this, we will be adopting a new forum model which will be very similar in design and function to reddit’s subreddit model. To achieve a basic level of structure without over complicating things, we will also have “linked communities” which will allow appropriate forums that are similar to appear in the forum’s sidebar. All threads and posts on the live site will be present on the new site.

The change to the forum structure also allows us to do some more creative things - for example, members with appropriate permissions will be able to create their own forums, with their own ruleset and moderators. Our content policy will still be in effect across all forums, regardless of individual forum rules. We will also be able to allow more than just text posts - at launch, we are planning to support text posts, URLs, images, YouTube videos, Twitch channels and also support for other services such as Twitter posts and Spotify songs/playlists, with more planned to be added if demand arises.

By allowing members to subscribe to forums, we can also give you a much more pleasant home page experience as you will see content from forums you are subscribed to first!

We will also be bringing a store which will allow you to spend on-site credits on customisation options including profile backgrounds, username effects, thread title styling, user titles and much more. This will also be something we will aim to add to on a regular basis so you always have something to spend your hard earned credits on!

Betting will also make a reappearance, but will have a much more streamlined and simplified process. We are also looking into the possibility of automating events posting, but at launch we will keep it manual while we ensure it is all working as intended.

On site chat will also return! After dropping the shoutbox when we moved to vBulletin, we are happy to be porting over a chat application that myself, Tustin, CyberNomadic and a few other wrote two years ago which will serve as the new on-site chat option, available on every single page!

Finally, we will be unveiling a VIP membership option. This will not be required in any way to continue using the website, however it will unlock a whole bunch of additional features and bonuses for you, including multipliers to your credits and account score, as well as fully customisable profile URLs and additional customisation options for your profile page. We are still ironing out the details around our VIP plans, so when we are ready to share more we will make another announcement.

tl;dr: When is this launching?

We are aiming to launch the new software in November, with an exact date dependant on whether we need to make any significant changes. We will open a beta site on October 10th and will run the beta throughout the rest of October, up until we are ready to go live with the new site.

We are extremely excited to hear what you guys think about these incoming changes, whether you like or dislike them. We really appreciate all the support you have given us, and we will always strive to give you the best possible community experience that we can.

Thanks for your time!
JB & the team

(side note: the design is not 100% final and may change slightly when the beta launches)