We had a HUUUGE problem with spam before, that is why the manual activation was left in place all those years. For every valid account, there were 100 spam accounts behind it. That's no exageration.
Moving the reply box to the bottom is not really seen as a necessity, I know it bothers many but it will stay up top for the time being. Not terribly hard to get used to I think. I know this isn't like the 'off-the-shelf' systems you are/were used to.
Alright, so I get how having a points system takes a huge strain off the mods/admins with not having to do a manual activation. I don't get how 2,000 points is necessary...thats 2,000 posts before someone can post a picture. There have been entire years that I've posted here and not gone much over 2 or 3,000 posts. Yes you can do other things like invite people to the forum or upload pictures, but I don't see those as legitimate alternatives. But I digress.
The reply box issue...would it be terribly difficult to just make it an option? Something we can set in the control panel where having it at the top is standard but those of us that are trying to actually use the forum as a forum can move it to the bottom where it makes sense?
I'm really trying to not bust your balls Dave, I do still have the feeling that you're on 'our side.' I just don't/can't understand how so many things seem to have been brought up and met only with 'meh, nah.' I mean does the state of the forum look different from an Admin perspective? Because from down here it seems like its dying REAL fast and it seems like with that happening they would want to listen to the community to try and improve the experience so people stick around and continue to join/stay. I get the impression that you're no longer able to make direct changes to the overall forum so I understand that you have to listen to all of us bitch & moan and all you can try and do is run it up a chain and let us know what answer comes back down. If thats true, sorry for that, it sounds like it sucks. I just wish whoever were 'calling the shots' around here now would actually be willing to listen to us and make changes like you have over the past decade.