Related opinion that might be unpopular:
I personally feel overwhelmed by the landing page of Discourse forums being a jumble of topics from all categories. Old-school forums present a list of categories, I got to the ones I care about, and see what’s up. With Discourse, I see the top few topics, (maybe open the most interesting 2-3 in tabs), then go into “prevent information overload mode”, and close the landing page (topic list) tab.
I know a possible solution would be to set the landing page to
/categories, but that looks crowded compared to, say, the classic MyBB landing page. My gut feeling says that, all other UX factors equal, a user might hang out more on a forum that welcomes them with the “classic” layout.