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Epic looking for your feedback on the direction to take with Answerhub

Oh, they’ll pay for it! shakes fist at the clouds

AH being down like this is not new. I’ve seen it happen at least several times. Licence expired over the weekend so perhaps it’s matter of invoicing what’s needed first thing on Monday morning.

Or we can chip in. Do they accept vBucks or whatshername?

I use a search engine, I type out keywords related to my problem, then see where I end up - it doesn’t really matter where the information is, and sometimes it isn’t even on Epic’s own website, but on someone’s blog.

I don’t think I’m alone on this - and to me, and probably some others, this is bringing some déjà vu’s on how the wiki got nuked. The above is exactly how I got here. Just chiming in that keeping the existing information somehow available is still relevant.

I hadn’t posted anything to AnswerHub for quite some time. Part of that may have been the clunkiness of AnswerHub. But my experience with it was that there were either easy questions which were answered before you could refresh the page, harder questions where you’d need to fix someone’s project-specific problem and eye through their script or ask for more information, or just plain hard questions about the inner workings of the engine that you’d need to have dug three layers deep into the systems yourself to give an answer with some level of confidence.

Edit: As for the solution - I’m not really sure if either of them is meaningfully superior to the other. Solution A seems way more straightforward, but the forums would need more tools to handle the increased volume.

I really hope Epics focus on fixing the missing picture problem, before doing big stuff like merging AH etc.

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As someone who has been here since 2014, I very much agree with that post.

Some more thoughts from me: Both the forums and the Answerhub were great places around 2014/2015/2016. Back then, when Epic introduced UE4, they seemingly had a great concept for how the community and support should work. But more recently, it felt like Epic more and more moved away from that original concept and replaced it with no concept at all. One example is this new forum software. It generally feels like some mobile website on PC, a lot of screen space is wasted, scrolling through threads to find something is way harder - so this new forum is way less usable than the old forums, and now every time I find a forum thread when googling for something, I tend to not even try to find the answer somewhere hidden in that thread, it’s just too annoying to use. The new forum software kinda killed the forums for me.

Another point is that back in 2014 and, a lot of devs from Epic were active in the forums and answerhub, answering all the highly technical questions that no one else could answer at that point. It stayed like that for a while, but more recently, involvement from Epic staff has been way less in both places, leading to many very technical questions never being answered. That drives away the highly skilled people who are primarily interested in highly-technical questions, and leads to places being occupied primarily by people new to UE4.

Now in 2021, if I have some highly technical question, I know that digging through the engine code is the only way how I can find an answer for that, so that’s what I do, I don’t even try to post it on the forums or answerhub. The engine code can answer all questions, but it’s not necessarily fun to have to search for hours through engine code if someone who’s familiar with the code could also just answer your question in 20 seconds, and it’s wasting a lot of time if everyone who has a highly technical question just searches through the engine code on their own instead of it being posted on some Stack Exchange equivalent where it would accumulate upvotes over time and ideally being answered by some Epic staff at some point so that anyone in the future who has a similar question could find the answer with just googling it, instead of also having to spend hours digging through engine code to answer themselves the same question.

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Okay i dont mind changes, but why we cant get access to answerhub right now?

Did you get an engine contributor badge once for fixing spelling errors in the source? :stuck_out_tongue: Either way, what you wrote seems familiar. There’s an invisible hand at Epic guiding things now versus 2014-2016. Perhaps that’s why Epic is more corporate / uncaring and less Community-focused overall. Tim Sweeney still wears ZZT t-shirts at summer BBQ’s. But that more fun side of Epic is long gone. You have to wonder how @Hourences got sucked into fixing this AH thing. Has to be less fun than working on sky-atmosphere tech demos. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Many employees active in forums between 2014~2017, no longer work for Epic.

Close Q&A Completely, move solution founded posts to Stackoverflow and let’s continue there.

Forum signatures were a pretty good incentive to post answers to questions in the old forums. Posters got some free traffic in exchange for helping others out. Sad to see them gone.

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Totally agree. It was like free advertising, and the reader could then verify if the poster had credibility.

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UE4 had a subscription until March 2015, so the community was much smaller in scale. On the other hand, a lot of the technical questions have already been answered, and the documentation is a lot better now, not to mention third parties.

I haven’t had any searches where I haven’t been able to find an answer, and some of those are indeed from years ago, but true all the same. For someone making changes directly into the engine code that may be different, but I avoid that on purpose.

I’m more worried about my google searches, I start my searches with UE4 …, after the change are all the links just gonna go nowhere, I not willing to pay for a service while developing for other people. But moving to the forums is maybe the best option.

honestly AnswerHub only ever felt like a support channel at the beginning when Epic staff was involved. but with AH being community-driven I don’t really feel it like a support channel, it’s just another place to ask questions with a few strengths and some more weaknesses compared to the forums

I can’t find any difference between the forums and the answer hub
Except doing things in the answer hub is UX hell.
If epic has paid answerhub money they should consider reporting them for scam.
I never understood to separate two things that do exactly the same thing just by the option of marking something as solved when many times the solved one is not worth it and you have to keep scrolling to get the correct answer.

@Hourences
In the forum, we can search so take the search “Virtual shadow maps”. Which is quite a technical search. I had to look up documentation what is a “Virtual shadow map”.

The results were “50+ results for Virtual shadow maps”
Now if the forum had sorted into a Topic Category called “Virtual shadow Maps”, by the person entering the Question or Answer.

These categories of posts could be adjusted by Topic Category Moderators, just users/posters would be persons interested in herding the posts into the relevant groups.

Category Moderators would have the ability to create new “Topic Categories” as time goes on, so we only have Categories that are important, not empty categories.

The Categories in Advanced Search are so overwhelmingly large and cover hundreds of topics

This is how the Windows 10 Feedback app worked. The main processing was done automatically, and the rest by Category Moderators.

So Windows Engineering was very interested in the “Blue Screen of Death” category, cynical I know, but it got results!

Honestly, I will be really happy, if there is exactly one platform to go to find help. I always got confused why there is a forum AND a answer hub and I never understood why this is the case and where to find help. For me, this even keeps me from learning unreal engine efficiently, so I’d appreciate if there is only one forum and the answerhub is merged into it.

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You do realize it will take Google and other search engines forever to re-index all those pages, so they should keep AnswerHub up for awhile after they do their merger etc.

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Why do you think I mentioned it. Epic’s solution for the Wiki was no solution. :stuck_out_tongue:
That said, I don’t think ‘learning game dev from Google’ really works anyway.
Not when the Community is so fragmented, with so many different channels.
The risk is Google returns perfectly relevant posts with no actual solutions!!!

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-AnswerHub has a lot of questions that turn into long, nested discussions that I find quite difficult to read at times.
-Has no dark theme and burns my retinas. Most of my development is done at night.
-It’s a tad slower to load, and rarely does not load at all.

I picked option A. I’m not involved enough to answer, but is that really the best that could be done?

Forums might get cluttered, and redirects are an absolute must. Such a pain to click an old wiki link just to be brought to the “We have a new wiki!” post, then having to manually go to the wiki legacy page.

Forgot to mention that the forum is loaded with duplicates, usually less than half have an answer with many dying after the usual “Post your logs/have you tried this, this, and this?” posts.

To be honest, I think the current forums are a step backwards. They just feel more clunky and with less overview then before. Also scrolling even this thread is annoying because the time slider is not a scrollbar and the browser scrollbar cant “see” the end of a thread because of lazy loading more posts.

I also fear that, same as the old wiki, answers get lost etc. links do not work.

Also, I do not like the discourse solved plugin. I hate to double-read answers and still have to scroll because there is a 50/50 chance that the mentioned answer is either not correct or not what I am looking for and it is hard to see when something got posted, depending on the sorting. (by date, by “correctness”? etc)

That is why I am not around AH and forums most of the time anymore. Too cluttered, feels like less support over the years from official accounts etc.

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