The long and short of it is, for quite a long time now, different people have been in control of different parts of keeping the Tavern online, and there was a bit of a communications breakdown. Which, let's be honest, was largely my fault. But let's not dwell...
Now, down to specifics, and what you can expect in the immediate future.
- This is now the real, official Mallorean Tavern. It's now entirely in my (well, and Moreta's) control. This means that (a) any further outages are 100% My Fault™, and (b) any further outages should be avoidable.
- The software is different because our vBulletin license was owned and paid for by Talon, our illustrious Tavernkeeper Emeritus. He has wanted to step down for a while, but has generously continued to let us keep using the software. However, working through him in order to keep the software up-to-date is kind of the opposite of stepping down. Buying my own copy of vBulletin is a not-insignificant expense, and my existing web hosting provider apparently isn't known for working well with vBulletin. They do, however, offer very good and easy-to-maintain phpBB hosting, which is also free (and Free and Open Source Software), so that's what we're going with.
- While this is the actual new Tavern, the domain is, I hope, temporary. Our previous domain was owned by the legendary first proprietor of the Tavern. If it is possible to transfer its ownership, we will move back there as soon as can be. If not, I would like to move to a more permanent domain in future; this is just one I had lying around, so to speak.