Update: I'm proud to announce that after the week-long poll, 81.8% of those that voted to share our ongoing vision for the future of HaloCustoms. I'll keep you posted on when these changes will take place along with a fairly substantial site update which is on track for next week.
For those enquiring about the inner workings of this new integration, I wanted to mention that we have been working on this functionality behind the scenes since November 2015 along with a roadmap of changes to the site which we hope you'll enjoy.
All the "Xbox" related features available now and into the future have been built from the ground up, specifically for HaloCustoms. This functionality is very much myself and TACTICS' digital baby and we're both very proud of what we have achieved and plan to in the future. For those simply interested in the API level of things we simply can't disclose anything of that nature due to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
These are exciting times and can't wait to share more with you on what we have planned for HC in the coming weeks and months.
If you haven't read up on the changes to user authentication yet, do please continue to read below.
Greetings fellow HaloCustoms dwellers: past, present and future (we see you guests lurking; hogging all the popcorn). Today, the future of how we handle user accounts here on HC lies in your hands.
TACTICS and myself are spearheading this venture into new functionality aimed at further bridging the gap between HaloCustoms and the games that our community so sorely loves.
To reach the full potential of our vision, however, we want to do away with "Legacy" sign-ins and registration in place of direct Xbox Account integration. Now, before you grab your pitchforks and torches, hear me out. The point of this thread is to inform you of the benefits of making this change and to address any concerns you may have before allowing you to make a decision on the matter.
So what is the change that you want to make?
Simply put, to make it mandatory for users new and existing to sign up/sign in to HaloCustoms with their Xbox Live/Microsoft account and phase out traditional username/password and Facebook authentication.
Why do you want to make the change?
In my eyes, it's all about feature parity between all users; after the next site update, most if not all new features and updates will rely on Xbox integration.
My fear is that the current optional "Opt-in" approach, will likely create segregation between users who simply have more or less access to the site's ever expanding feature set purely down to how they've set up their account. This naturally could also cause confusion and potential frustration to less tech savvy users who simply enjoy the Halo series of games and want to join our community.
The aim here is simplify the sign-in/sign-up process whilst taking the next evolutionary step in providing a great place to hang out and share your Halo content and experiences and overall bring the community at large closer together.
So what are the benefits of making this change?
I could go in depth about each point individually here, but then what would you have to ask about? Instead I'm going to briefly list some of the plus points I can think of off the top of my head for making the jump to exclusive XBL sign in.
- Increased account security.
- Bridges the gap between Xbox and HC, giving us a lot more scope on improving the overall user experience and site feature set moving forward.
- Ensures that everyone is on a level playing field and not missing out on future updates.
- Simplifies user registration for new users.
- Completely eradicates new spam accounts!
- On the reverse of this instant account access will be available to all eligible users. Currently some members have to be manually approved by an Admin such as myself before they can post to the site or even use the Shoutbox due to our current anti-spam filter.
- Changes to your Xbox Account will transfer over to HC automatically if you make a change to your Gamertag for example.
- Will improve account moderation to ensure that serial internet trolls and proxy account abusers can be swiftly dealt with.
- Removes any errors that can occur with XBL integration as signing in using a traditional method at a later date can temporarily revoke access to related features due to not having an current authentication key from Microsoft (some users whom have already performed the account migration have already been reporting this issue).
- Global lower level access to Xbox/Microsoft accounts opens a lot of doors for the future of HaloCustoms
As we see it, there are very few cons to this new approach. Of course, it would require all users to go through the process of linking their accounts. This is a one-time process, however, and we've been sure to streamline it to the point of it being a non-issue. Additionally, this change would prevent anyone without an Xbox account from using the site. Again, this shouldn't be a problem given that we are a site focused on an Xbox-exclusive title in the first place. Xbox accounts should now be more common than ever given the Universal Windows Platform's bridge between console and PC gaming.
If you have any additional concerns, we'd love to hear (and hopefully alleviate) them below.
As an existing user, how would I log into my account is this change was suddenly made?
We've been working over the past couple of days to streamline this process as much as possible. In case you're a user who has been living under a rock or simply returned to HC after the release of a new game in the series, migrating your existing account is a simple two step process.
Step 1: Select the option to sign in with Xbox Live. An example of this button as it currently stands can be found below (there will also be a replacement for the current Login/Sign Up options on the top bar if this change goes ahead).
Step 2: Select the option to "Associate Existing Account" and simply log into HC with your existing legacy username and password as demonstrated below;
Btw I used a fake password for this screenshot, "superlongfakepassword" in case you're curious.
It's as simple as that!
If you'd like to test out the migration process for yourself, simply follow the steps above once signed out of HaloCustoms. If you've already set up up Xbox integration over the past few days and would like first-hand experience on this process, please disassociate your Xbox account here first before following the above steps.
After completing the simple migration process, you'd simply be able to use your account as normal and also be able to potentially log into the site with one click on most of your devices, adding to overall convenience.
Here's the part where you get to have your say...
To round off this post, I want to give you the opportunity to have your questions answered by TACTICS and myself over the next week. Also, you get to vote on whether or not we should go ahead with this change via the attached poll. To add to the incentive of getting involved in the discussion, as an official Q&A session the "Srs Bzns" site trophy will be on offer for those that ask some of the most relevant and overall interesting questions.
We look forward to reading your thoughts on this matter and addressing any issues or worries that you may have as a result of this change. I sincerely hope that you most of you share passion of a brighter, more connected future and want to make this journey together. I think it's going to be one hell of a ride.