Hooray! We are no longer tethered and shackled by our old host. We are the bastions of change, our destiny and future is in the hands of the People! It's with great pleasure that I reveal to you all the latest and greatest version of IxNet....IxNet 10. Yes, if you pay attention to the release cycles of IxNet you would know that the last release was IxNet 11, which should make this new one IxNet 12. And to that, I tell you to shut up and forget you even thought of that.
Ixnay has gone through many revisions, changes, pitfalls, and upswings. And no matter how dire the circumstances have been, we have always endured, survived, and emerged from the brink of sure defeat. IxNet X marks the beginning of our golden age. This marks the start of the future of Ixnay as a region, as a community, and as an idea.
We tested the waters with promoting IxWiki to its own domain and hosting it on its own separate server and that has been nothing short of a great success. Loading times are incredibly fast, we got rid of those errors and bugs that made using it incredibly frustrating, and we're still working on installing VisualEditor to give everyone an easier-to-use editing interface that uses WYSIWYG so no one has to keep using wiki markup. And that's still just the tip of what the grand vision for the wiki is, but the point is that moving servers was the prerequisite to even be able to start to do some of these larger and more ambitious ideas.
Even though IxNet was the original IxProject, it has been pushed to the backburner for a number of reasons. First and foremost though, it was simply a bitch to use. Between the server always timing out or just outright breaking, the mess of the UI, and really nothing to do on it, it's no wonder that the wiki gained in popularity and outshined the main site. But it's time to make it an even playing field and that started with moving the rest of the site to the new servers. Just like with the wiki, load times are now instant and all of the general errors and server issues are gone. Using the site should now feel lightning quick and there shouldn't be any issues with connecting or loading assets.
In addition to moving to a faster server, we're going for a more streamlined and cleaned up UI compared to previous themes. And don't worry, a night theme is coming for everyone whose eyes are burning from the lightness of the new theme.
One of the biggest changes in IxNet X is the rebranding of ICNs. A relic of the past, the name doesn't fit into the current landscape of Ixnay so it has been changed to Dispatches. A Dispatch can continue to be your daily national news source, or it can be anything that pertains to any current news or story going on in your country. The idea is that a dispatch fits in between detailed articles on the wiki and the longer narrative storylines that occur. The frequency or length of a dispatch doesn't really matter, but we encourage all kinds even if it's something small and quick.
Another popular feature that has been slightly altered is the Feed. First off, it's been removed from the main navigation and now lives on the sub-navigation directly below it. The three main core functionalities of the Feed are: Recent Posts, Memos, and the core Feed.
Recent posts is pretty self-explanatory, if you want a quick feed of all of the newest posts and threads, they are all there at a glance.
Memos are IxTweets, but rebranded just on the off-chance we get sued for using the name. I would love it if we moved away from relying so heavily on the IRC for communication, especially for storyline purposes. Not everyone can get on IRC daily or even weekly, and it doesn't make sense to have notes pile up when a user could easily check the memos on IxNet and reply at their leisure.
The core feed remains unchanged. As a quick recap, it defaults to showing all unread posts so if you're more of a lurker than a poster this is a handy way to stay up to date on everything that's going on. You have the ability to customize your feed though, changing it from showing unread content to content you're watching, threads you've posted in, threads you've started, and more. It's a nice way to collect and sift through all of the content on the site without manually going through every category.
The forums themselves will be getting cleaned up in the near future as well, just to tidy everything up and make it easier to designate where certain content should go. A lot of the categories haven't been used in well over a year and it's just collecting dust, so a reorganization is in order.
A major overhaul of user profiles on IxNet is coming, think of it as a test for something more ambitious to come. The profile will function in a way similar to that on Nationstates, allowing you to input basic data about your nation like your capital city, leader, government type, etc.
Lots of things are coming. Achievements, Awards, Credits, User Tiers, IxMaps, and the big one IxStates will all be coming at various points in the not-distant future. Achievements and awards are probably coming first, followed by Credits and IxMaps, and then User Tiers and more, before IxStates ties it all together.
IxNet X is definitely a more of an improvement under the hood and less of a visual/feature one, which is fine. In order to get to IxStates, we had to get here first. And let me be clear, the community is not defined by IxStates, or the wiki ,or this site. Or even myself, despite my best wishes. It's you, Recep. It's you, Kistan. It's you, Mont. This place, this region, this community, is amazing no matter what happens to it. We got raided on NS years ago. We rebuilt. We lost half of our active user base over a year ago. We survived. Whether this community has 5 members, 50, or 500, we're always going to strive for two things: MORE AND LORE.