Xenforo is pretty amazing but last time I checked you had to pay for it, and you end up with a lot of features that are far more useful if you run a website like, say, RaceDepartment, and not a small community forum. Discourse I would argue is perfect for your purposes.
I’d like to curb your enthusiasm slightly there: You don’t need RPS’s blessing make a forum, and the only blessing that has been discussed that they could give you is the forum database… But they’re not going to hand that one out I think. First of all because I am quite sure that privacy laws are violated if they do that: users on RPS consented with their data being given to RPS, they have not consented with having that data transferred over wholesale to WeirdFish Inc.
Secondly there’s the issue that even if they did you’d be sitting on a vast mass of e-mail, password and other private data from thousands of people who have no idea who you are, and if your database gets powned its your responsibility to deal with the fallout from that. That’s a lot of responsibility for a website with an userbase that’s a fraction of that, especially one that is run as a hobby project. There’s a reason none of us ever got given full admin access.
I’d argue with that in mind that starting off fresh is actually just the better idea since you end up with a small cozy forum that’s reasonably well populated without being intimidating rather then a massive forum that’s clearly past its glory days (reminder that there was a 80% active userbase drop in 2013). Being able to start from fresh and then adapt to your growing community is far more fun then inheriting an old structure that’s visibly withered in a lot of places. I am very confident that part of the reason why the Discord took off is becuase we were able to facilitate users far more easily then the forum’s awful management structure ever allowed.
Heh. Discord is always going to be slightly intimidating I fear. We try a lot of things (like making a lot of channels opt-in visible since a lot of people got scared by the massive amount of channels - I wish we had threads earlier) but ofc. they have their own caveats.
The general vibe amongst the former forum users on discord is that they’d be content to let any forum continuation be. Should a forum materialize I’ll post an announcement for sure but there’s not a lot of room for co-operation anyway. I ocasionally posted an announcement when the guessing game happened, but beyond that I’m not very sure what we even could do? The platforms aren’t exactly linkable.