Thanks Mike, appreciate the detailed response.
One thing I'm wondering, just out of curiosity; I saw in another thread that one of the reasonings behind the upgrade, besides improved security, was more features and functionality, but I saw nothing even remotely specific. As someone who is pretty satisfied with the features of the current forum, I'm having a hard time seeing what additional features we would want that we don't already have (beyond additional features to make the lives of a mod easier - I have no insight into that)?
I totally get the argument about improved security, but beyond that, I must admit that I've been having trouble seeing any other actual reasons as to why this forum switch is important. I'd love to be enlightened, because I feel like I'm completely missing something rather obvious.
Most of the features and functionality are in the Admin side of things, tbh. IPB is good, but changing things can be a real pain and most often requires a plugin or some form of editing to be done on the base php/CSS. We are not too happy with this, as plugins and editing stuff could leave us open to attacks, so we are pretty much stuck with base IPB stuff. However the new forum software has a massive list of features that come "out of the box" and will make administrating the forum so much easier... From a user point of view, the new forums will be created to look/feel like the current ones, and new features, like trophies for example, will be activated at a later date once everyone knows their way around and we've seen how people react to and use the new software.
Also note that apart from trying to make the forum less vulnerable and improve the overall experience, we also wanted to "trim" the forum down. Currently the GMC is massive and has a LOT of junk!!! New users coming here are often a bit bewildered by it all and more and more we (the staff) are seeing posts places in the wrong forum. We could trim it all back and start to delete stuff, but amongst the "junk" there are still topics and posts from years ago that get used and are valid. So, as a compromise between nuking the GMC/Trimming the GMC and moving the GMC, we decided that archive/move was the best all-round solution, especially as it gives us a chance to change the forum software as we are not 100% happy with IPB.