Also known as "threaded" comments. Some sites will let you indent replies ad infinitum. In other cases some will allow only a single level of indentation.
I think I meant "nested comments".
To be somewhat fair, I might say the standoffish thing you smelt was really a way to chase some really scary people on there who like to ask questions without first searching the 1000 results.
I have not asked a single question there yet, and I have come a long way in Vanilla.
Once you understand the structure, then you'd be flying like a happy squirrel.
1. Altering the bulk layout is quite easy - use smarty.
And SASS can @extend all them classes quite easily. Enables you to base your site on Bootstrap or Foundation 6 etc.
2. And then with bare CSS and JS you can alter and move around most things.
3. To do the alterations serverside, well, you can override most->all functions
that spit out those little bitty html
4. Keep all your modules here, MODX equivalent is snippets. You can later call this in smarty using
5. and lastly, to change all the lingo around the site just copy a standard local.php to
$Definition['Howdy, Stranger!'] = 'Hello Friend, long time no see!'; //takes html
Vanilla scales very very well. And does not bug down ya MODX, think many resources/slow db/tv/cache hell