This might be very outside the scope of what you want for suggestions but I thought it was worth adding.

For XF1 we used the Staff Room Unread addon ( to add some counters to our mod bar. We also removed the text and just had icons.


That's basically a link to the ACP and 3 pre-defined forums with their associated unread counts.

I got the impression ( that this might be possible just by styling now without the need for an addon but I'm not 100% sure.
This would require an add-on as far as I know. Adding links is easy but pulling any forum data would require an add-on.

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