Continuing the discussion from Minimal Discourse:
I think the primary reason why people have trouble understanding the distinction between “Reply to post” and “Reply to topic” (or just being privy to the existence of such a distinction) is quite simply because the buttons look exactly the same. I started making some mockups to differentiate the two, but when the time came to look at the mobile design, I felt like the problem was already solved.
This looks way less confusing to me.
The reply icon is a fairly universal button, and when you see that identical icon in the end-of-topic
Reply you can see they’re related, but not the same. Why not make that the default for desktop as well?
One tiny addition I’d make though would be to spell it out for the bottom reply button: