Maximum Posts in PM or Discussions

I’ve noticed that all of a sudden, Discourse is automatically locking topics over 10,000 posts… and Private Message threads over 500. I’m not sure if the former is a problem—only four topics have ever reached that size anyway—but a 500 post limit on PMs is very inconvenient for private testing threads, and also general private conversation as well. 500 posts is really not much.

I searched meta.discourse for information, and found this explanation of limits… but it is a year old, which does not explain why this has only just changed on Choice of Games. It does note that this is a number admins can modify, so would this be a possible thing to look at?

Thanks :slight_smile:


CoG is looking into it. I noticed the same issue, as has Havenstone. It’s like the purge but with threads.


I think this issue is likely caused by some kind of hard “reset” being done not so long ago.

Today, I had to log in to the forum again, both on the PC and mobile, as if I logged out before (which I never did).

Oh, and another link that might be helpful


Is Skynet back?


I don’t think so…? :thinking: That’s happened before, and it’s never done this, but more importantly, I’m sure I lost at least one PM thread before the site lockdown…


This happened before when there was an update to the Discourse … (look at the cookie thread where Skynet is referenced) Last time, the restrictions had to be lifted or changed by Admin then mods had to reopen the closed threads, both public and private.

Edit: Here is the setting that needs to be changed by Admin: Admin > Settings > search for auto close topics post count


They removed the setting. :confounded:

We’ve filed a support ticket and they’re asking us “why would you ever want a topic with that many posts?” I’ve copied and pasted some links for them to read, but this probably isn’t getting fixed right away.


Aw, that’s disappointing :disappointed: just because something is good practice for some sites doesn’t mean it is for others.

Speaking from my own perspective, I’d emphasize the importance of private beta testing threads on the Choice of Games forum as a main focus for why long PM threads are useful here. If you haven’t done so already.

I hope the conversation goes well!

What was the purge? :sweat_smile:


So, they’ve basically told us flat out no, they aren’t going to reimplement the setting (citing a major performance issue), so there’s nothing we can do at the moment. The PM thread limit is still in question, but it might be hard too.

So, with that in mind, if you thread is one of the ones that was closed and you’re not at least a Leader, you can ask me to change whatever on your thread to make that jump easier (if you’re a Leader, you should be able to do it yourself, although you can still ask if you need something). That will basically be the MO for overly long threads in the future, i.e. that you can cut them off (probably preferably closing the old one), and start anew at some point.

PM’s however, are a different matter. There’s a 500 limit on PM’s, and I have really no idea how many long PM threads there are that will be affected by this. That said, there’s a couple of options. I put a poll down below, and most of the options are self explanatory. So, to explain the one that isn’t, unlisted threads are threads that are not displayed on any list of threads, but instead are only accessible via a direct link. The thing is, you need at minimum a leader to help you set that up, and a mod (i.e. me) is preferable (If you’re a leader, the best order of operations is to have the user create the thread, then unlist it, so they own the thread, or to kick it up to me, where I can just create it owned from the start). You can @ in unlisted threads, and they have the same 10k cap as regular threads. They aren’t really as secure as PMs because they’re only security through obscurity, rather than an actual lock and key, but good enough IMO.

That said, if you want an unlisted thread, tell me and I can create one for you.

  • I would use unlisted threads.
  • I’ll keep using PMs even with the limit.
  • I switch to another way to communicate (e-mail, chat room, etc.).
  • I have another plan way to keep going (discuss below).
  • I already don’t use the forums for private betas, but use some other method.
  • I don’t do private betas.

0 voters


Just to check—even if they’re enforcing having a limit on post count, are they open to allowing admins to change the size of the limit? :thinking: I could see that at least mitigating the issue, if the PM limit could be bumped up.

1 Like

No. They may be willing to compromise on the 500 limit for PMs, but the 10K limit is already beyond what they think is safe.

The limit cannot be removed because it jeopardizes our entire hosting infrastructure for all customers.


Self-hosting an option or do the costs still favour the SaaS approach?

Because we’re paying customers. I know, I know… that won’t work. It’s just aggravating when a company changes a paid service with no notification and no thought of impact.


I can see them going for the “we’d rather have 10 unhappy customers than 10,000 unhappy customers” route. I’ve worked for companies where that was a thing and the 10 were told to just suck it up or move on.

Edit: Also, in all my years of forum-going CoG is unique in trying to keep threads going forever. The vast majority will either cap busy threads at 10k posts and open a new thread, or prefer old threads not be responded to.


Our experiences are vastly different - most forums I visited wanted consistency and relevancy, which meant most threads were closed earlier but the community unifying and important threads were links from years past.

Most forums did not care so much for “performance” of outdated and often archaic divives such as old Android OSes.


So Discourse has basically thrown in the towel and admitted that for performance on sites with looonnnnggg threads, both general and on PM’s pagination is the superior system. For which I’d like to cite as an example as it is the only other forum I visit fairly regularly that can routinely have some threads that rival Guns of Infinity in post count and performance wise that forum never caused me any trouble.

I can see this being far less then ideal for private beta’s. While I’m not an author myself at the moment it seems the best way to go would be what is actually more common for the visual novel/ Renpy games and get my own forums for early access/backers and beta testers, just as @Aly did for Seven Kingdoms.

Well I never had a particularly great problem with pagination to begin with (in some instances I vastly prefer it)…but whatever CoG decides. Some forums with pagination after all do limit the number of posts or pages per thread though it is usually enforced by the forum admins rather than the forum software providers. it’s just that for “chatty” discussion and fiction heavy sites like this one and the one i mentioned above, strictly enforced low and tight limits are less than optimal and not really desirable either the way I see it.

In line with my experiences as well most forums the limits are set by the mods and admins (with varying levels of reader input), not the company that made the forum software.


Key info in the forums I’ve used would be archived either in sticky posts or moved to a wiki of some sort as they became a thing. This is going all the way back to the mid to late 90’s

Also the performance issues Discourse are concerned about here will be their databases and associated caching systems rather than mobile devices.

Edit: Also with regards to self hosted forums using software like vbulletin, invisionforums or phpbb, etc - database processing is still a limiting factor as to how viable long threads are in terms of usability. You really can’t have unlimited posts on threads (yet).

I understand your position better than you comprehend mine. Most forum going communities value IP/brand loyalty of their customers and as uch foster a continuity of discourse (pun intended) and so, discussions were often years in the making. This happened here with @Cataphrak’s Infinity series and @JimD’s and my Safe Haven IP.

Alot of the communities would have Wikis established, and other key archival resources developed over time but those that did not reach that critical mass, made sure the common discussion thread stayed open.

I understand the indexing issue - but it directly relates to older OSes ability to handle large indexes. Discourse staff even states that in their public responses …

CoG and individual authors, such as myself, may not have the resources to keep up and keep current wikis, so this change is hitting some of us very hard.

As far as hosted forums - databases are a concern but going back to the 1990’s myself, I know it still was not an automatic limiter to size, as a matter of fact, this was a reason provided to stay away from Discourse and other hosting services who cared more for their aggregate customer base than the needs of the individual customer of theirs.

The truth of the matter is simple: Our individualistic needs (CoG) that are not common to the majority of the customer base at Discourse will always be an outlier that will eventually be brought into line with the perceived Orthodoxy … the changes to text formatting and other past instances prove that Discourse will sacrifice our needs specific to our customer base to align everybody with their entirety.


Oh, no, I know full well that the issue here is discourse favouring the larger majority of its customers over 1 or 2. I would not expect them to do otherwise.

As a person whose day job it is to manage and run web hosting systems and who has run and managed forums I know the pain points on both sides of the equation. The key of those being the database (generally the design of the tables, not the engine itself), any caching mechanisms in front and the competency of the developers of the forum software in use. I’m not aware of any forum software to date that doesn’t start to creak on overly long threads or PM chains.