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Old 03-16-2004, 11:31 PM
Tohopekaliga Tohopekaliga is offline
The world begins with you.
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Florida
View Posts: 18,998
Newbies' Guide to the Universe (And how to join a clan!)

First off, I would like to point out that this is not a replacement for the rules, though regulations stated in this guide should be considered to be part of the rules.

:: The Basics ::

There are several things that you should do to ensure that you don't annoy people, or get your threads locked, and in extreme cases, get (a) strike(s).

Posting New Threads
  • When you want to post something, think about what it is. If it is about a computer game, it should go in General Gaming, and if it is about The Wind Waker, it should go in GameCube Zelda, to give a couple of examples. Try to keep your posts in the correct forum. If for some reason you do put a thread in the wrong forum, it can and will be moved by a Moderator or Administrator, but it is polite to put them in the correct place from the beginning.
  • Before you post a new thread about something, or asking a question, try checking the first page or two of the appropriate forum, to see if there are any topics that might be about the same thing. If you see something that is about the very subject you want to talk about, post in that thread rather than create a new one. HOWEVER, if that thread has not been posted in for more than 3 months, you should let it be and create a new thread. This will hopefully give the topic a fresh start and be more likely to generate interest.
    Reviving old threads is called Threadromancy. It's against the rules to do, and can result in a warning, or in chronic cases, an infraction.
  • If you just have a question about something, you should use the Search Function that is at the top of every page.
  • When you create a new thread, you have the option of adding a poll. Polls are lists of options that people can choose, and everyone can view what everyone else voted. To make a poll, check the "yes" box under "Post a Poll?" Then follow instructions, after you have completed your message.
  • If you make a poll, there should be a relevant purpose to it. A question such as "What number do you like?" is pointless, and should not be asked. Also try not to have completely biased poll choices, such as "Yes!" "definitely!" and "absolutely," and nothing else.

General Posting
  • Everyone loves proper grammar. While it is not absolutely essential, it is recommended that every member quickly reads over what they write before they press the submit button. If you don't know how to spell something, don't worry about it. Just try not to speel evary ward rong en ah sintance. It gets very aggravating and can make your posts unreadable. You will generally be respected more if you use proper grammar as well.
  • Along with using proper grammar, it is also considerate to use complete words. This is a forum, not a chat room, so you can spend the extra few seconds it takes to type "you" rather than "u," or "anyone" rather than "ne1." So, please use complete words.
  • Posts should include actual thought in them. Saying "That game's awesome!" and leaving it at that isn't good enough. I know I don't want to have to waste my time scrolling past those types of messages, and I'm sure no one else does either. Rather than giving the bare bones of your thoughts, try to expand on them. It makes for much more satisfying and appreciated posts.
  • When you post something in a thread, keep it relevant to the discussion occurring in the thread. If you want to talk about something else, post in the appropriate thread, or make a new thread about it. It is best to read up on what's going on in the thread. Conversations evolve, and it's best to respond to the last few messages rather than the very first post alone. Ideally, read through the entire thread to get a sense of what is going on.
  • There are language filters here, but it is still nice to not swear excessively. Getting around the language filters by saying "*****" or something similar is treated the same way as normal, filtered swearing, and when not needed and/or used excessively, may result in one or more strikes being given to you.
  • Another thing that makes you look better, and people like me happier, is the use of capitalization and punctuation. It is much nicer to read something that is several complete sentences, with word capitalization and punctuation when necessary then it is to read a huge, run-on sentence that never once made use of the shift key.
  • The term "Spam" is relatively simple. Any post that does not contribute to a thread, which includes "yeah, I agree" type posts and "bump" posts are considered spam, and are not allowed.
  • Double posting is rude and isn't allowed. Please utilize the edit button if you really need to add to the conversation, but no one has replied.

vB Code
  • vB Code is the code that you use in your posts to create various things such as a list, and to change the size, color, boldness of text, etc..
  • The simplest way to use vB Code is to use the buttons in the Post Reply page. However, those aren't there when using the Quick Reply feature, so you have to know what the codes are to use them.
  • If you want to emphasize something, it is more effective to use bold or italics instead of ALL CAPS. The codes are [b]bold[/b] and [i]italics[/i]
  • When you have a discussion, and you wish to quote someone else, the simplest way to do this is by clicking the "Quote" button at the bottom of the post you wish to quote. However, you may also manually do this by using the [quote] code.
    The quote code puts whatever is written between the opening and closing tags, [quote] and [/quote], into "brackets". This is much simpler, and nicer to look at then when you type a bunch of dashes (-) to emulate this, or using quotation marks.
  • All the other codes work in the same way, with open tags [*code] at the beginning of what you want to change, and close codes [*/code] at the end of it.
  • The color tag you use to change the color of the text. Use the names of the colors, such as "blue" or "orange." Hex code doesn't work. You may also use things like "navy."
  • If you want to say something that might spoil a game or a movie for someone, be kind and use the [spoiler] tags. [spoiler] tags make a lovely box for you, like this:
    Neat, huh?
  • To see a list of all the available tags, you may click on the "Help" link next to the vB Code heading on the Post Reply page, or clicking on this link

:: Forum Etiquette ::

More ways to be a good, productive, and liked member of the ZU community.
  • Do not make an entire post in leet speak or AOL talk. It is incredibly annoying to read.
  • When you post something, complete sentences are always a plus. Sentences make posts easier to read, and they make you sound smarter!
  • Another thing that is always good to have is separate paragraphs. When you make a long post, try and separate ideas with the Enter or Return key occasionally. Consider this post. If I did not separate any of these lines, imagine how hard it would be to read this? Keep that in mind when you make long posts, post stories, or participate in the RPG (or Battle Arena) as well.
  • Flaming is looked down upon, and can be punished with strikes, and even bans in some cases. If someone says something you don't agree with, by all means, say so. But, there is no need to insult the person in the process. Flaming is very unproductive, and doesn't help anyone.
  • Most everyone here seems to like smilies. I personally don't, but I don't hold that against people. However, don't overuse the smilies in a post. One or two smilies is okay. One every sentence is not. Multiple in a row is annoying, and should thus be avoided.
  • Rent-a-modding, that is to say, acting on behalf of a moderator, is frowned upon, and if continued, will result in warnings. If you feel that there is a bad post, either report it to the mods via the Bad Post Button, or through PMs.
  • When sending a PM, particularly to a moderator, please use the title space appropriately. A PM indicating your interest to be placed in a clan could be easily identified with something like "[clan test]" in the title of the PM. A title such as "CODY SMELLZ LOL!," however, shows no indication of coherence whatsoever and runs the risk of being disregarded in its entirety.

:: General Forum Stuff ::

"What is it?", you say? Well, I'll tell you.

Private Messaging
  • The Private Message system is a way to have private conversations with other Forum members, similar to e-mail, except it is just within the Forum.
  • Private Messages are generally referred to as "PMs."
  • You can access the PM system in many ways. First, simply by clicking on "PMs" (or "Private Messages", depending on which skin you're using) in the top right corner of any forum page. Also, you can access it from the "User CP", or the "Quick Links" buttons at the top of the Forums.
  • If you get a Private Message, a notification window will appear when you visit the forums, unless you have that disabled. If that is disabled, you can see if you have unread messages by looking at the top right corner of the page. There it lists your number of unread messages.
  • If you would like to send someone a PM, you can do so from your user control panel by clicking "send new message", but you will have to specify to whom you're sending the message. Or, if you're in a thread and you are looking at a post by the person you wish to PM, click on the username of the person, and a drop-down menu will appear, from which you can choose to send that person a private message.
  • When PMing someone, be sure to enter in a subject.
  • Advertising through PMs is a bannable offense in some cases. Remember that.

Visitor Messages
  • Visitor messages are a relatively new feature to the ZU forums, and are similar to a wall on Facebook, although not entirely the same.
  • VMs, as they're often referred to, are a little quicker than PMs, but beware- they can be read by anyone who visits a person's profile, so don't post anything you want kept private there!
  • All forum rules apply to Visitor Messages, too. No flaming, incessant spamming, or other forms of harassment. Doing so can result in a warning or infraction.
  • When you wish to send a VM to someone, you do so from their profile page, which can be accessed most easily by clicking on the person's username.
  • When you receive a new VM, a notice will show up in the top right corner of any forum page, but unlike PMs, a pop-up will not appear to notify you.
  • Important: One thing that many newbies don't realize when they first try to reply to VMs is that you must click on "view conversation" before you reply. Simply posting in the box above the received message will only post on your own wall. You've essentially just sent yourself a VM! So be sure to click "view conversation" before replying to a VM!
  • You have the power to delete messages on your profile.

  • It seems that the 'thing' these days for newbies is to get 'adopted' by a veteran member of the forums. So, I might as well explain it as best I can.
  • The point of adoption is to make a quick friend at ZU, as well as someone who you can turn to in order to ask newbie like questions, or anything else for that matter.
  • Once a newbie is adopted, the adopter will usually put something like "Proud adopter of so-and-so" in their signature, and the adoptee may put "Adopted by so-and-so" in theirs.
  • Getting adopted is not in any way mandatory. It is entirely voluntary. I don't personally see a point to it, since, as you can see by viewing my signature that I don't have a newbie of my own.
  • For more information, view the Adoption Lodge

Battle Arena
  • The Battle Arena (commonly refered to as the BA) is where RPG-style battles take place.
  • In order to participate in the Battle Arena, you must submit a character in the Character Approval sub-forum, where it will be (dis)approved by one of the BA council. When submitting a character, be sure to follow the character information format.
  • Unlike the clans, you do not need to be a member for 1 month, or have 50 posts. Simply create and submit a character to use.

Beneath everyone's name, there is a title. These titles correspond to the post count of the user. Once a user has been a member for 30 days, and has at least 50 posts, you gain the ability to customize your rank.

The ranks are:
» Deku Scrub (Minimum Posts: 0)
» Gerudo Thief (Minimum Posts: 30)
» Goron (Minimum Posts: 100)
» Zora Warrior (Minimum Posts: 250)
» Hylian Knight (Minimum Posts: 500)
» Royal Hylian (Minimum Posts: 750)
» Sage of Wisdom (Minimum Posts: 1000)

Name Changes
You are allowed to change your name while you stay at ZU. To do so, all you need to do is go to your User CP and click the "Email, Password & Username" button on the left side menu. Enter your password and the new username you desire. Be aware that you can only make one username change every 6 months. Administrators will NOT take name change requests and we will not revert a name change you don't like. In addition, all users can view a history of your previous names by hovering over your name in one of your posts. We do not allow profane name changes or names meant to impersonate other members - those caught with names like these will have their names reverted to their original name and given a 4-point infraction. Happy name changing!

The Staff
There are a number of moderators here at the Zelda Universe Forums in addition to the site staff. A listing of them all can be found in the Forum Leaders section at the bottom of the forum index. The staff are separated into several groups, webmasters, administrators, super mods, global mods, section mods, and forum mods, each of whom have varying sizes for area of control, and responsibilities around the site. See post 3 in this thread for more.

The Chatroom
If you want a more laid-back place for the discussion of stuff, ZU does have an unofficial official chatroom, and instructions to join can be found here. Please keep in mind that the topic is rarely Zelda.

:: Signatures & Avatars ::

Explanation of how to use pictures and such. Please note that I can't post tags properly when giving examples, so I have added *s to all of them. When I give a tag to use, remember to leave out the *s.

  • Your avatar is a picture displayed underneath your username when you post messages. An avatar cannot be larger than 130x100 pixels and 75 kb. Find a picture yourself, or get one from a signature shop in the Signature Shop Forum.
  • To make a picture your avatar, you will need to click on the "User CP" link at the top of the ZU Forums Index, and then the "Edit Avatar" link. This will bring you to the Avatar Selection Screen. From there, you can either enter the URL (web address) of the image, or select and upload it from your computer's hard drive.

  • Your signature space has a maximum height of 240 pixels. Anything that goes beyond this limit will not be shown in your signature. You are free to fill this space up with whatever you want, as long as the rest of the signature rules are followed.
  • Signatures can include one image that is a maximum of 650x150 pixels & 250kb (maximum; animated or not), or two pictures which add up to no more than 650 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall. Feel free to include text along with your image/s, but be wary of the 240 pixel height limit.
  • "Blinkies" (animated images showing text) are counted as images, not text.
  • Smilies are counted as images as well.
  • Signature images must be uploaded to the Internet. Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and ImageShack® - Hosting are two free websites that host images for you, though there are more out there.
  • At the top of all the pages of the ZU Forums, there is a menu bar. Click on "User CP". In that page, you will find an "Edit Signature" link. Click on it. There is a space for entering your signature. To put an image in, you will need to write [img]'s_URL[/img]. Click "Save Signature" at the bottom.

More on Signatures & Avatars
  • Images for avatars and signatures should be .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, or .png. Bitmaps and other picture types are generally far too large in size to use. The avatar uploading feature will not let you upload an avatar if it is too large, and signature images that are too large are not good for dial-up users. I don't like bitmap signatures, and I have a fast cable connection!
  • A URL is the web address of a webpage or file. You can see the URL of a webpage in the address bar of your Internet browser, and you can find the URL of a picture, once it's uploaded, by right-clicking on the picture and selecting "Properties". An example of a URL for a picture is "", which is for one of my old avatars.
  • Signature shops and their owners in the Signature Shop Forum make quality images for your signature and avatar needs.
  • Before requesting a sig/avy set, be kind to the sig makers by following the requesting rules.
  • To center something, add in [center] tags. The line should look something like this:

    [center][img][/img][/center]. The same applies for text, but without the [img] tags.
  • As you may already know from the nifty buttons at the top of the "Post Reply" page, the tag for color is [color=(insertcolorhere)]. In order to have your links to other web pages a different color, have the [color] tags inside the [url] tags. For example:
    [url=][color=red]The Rules![/color][/url]. Otherwise, the link will still be the default tan color of ZU's links.

:: More Help ::
  • Although I don't personally participate in it, a good way to learn all about the workings of the Forum, as well as make a new friend or two here, is the Adoption Center. There, you, the newbie, can get adopted by a benevolent member personally approved by one of our Newbie Board Moderators, or other approved approver (ha!). See the opening post in the Adoption Cottage for all the information about adoption.
  • Making a welcome thread prompts lots of members to welcome you and generally spew random advice, which could be useful, so don't neglect to make a thread proclaiming that you've joined! Just be sure to keep it in the New Members' Board.
  • The Moderators and Administrators are knowledgeable, and helpful. If you're lost, you can ask any of us about something using a Private Message.
  • As is probably apparent from the existence of this thread, I am willing to help with any problems you may be having, so if you have a question for me, feel free to Private Message me, or IM me, if that's what you use to sustain your socialization. Either way, I will respond, and update this lovely post accordingly so as to assist future members.

Now that you've read over this guide, get out there, post, meet new people, and have fun!
Last Edited by Dog Dog 123; 03-26-2011 at 11:53 AM. Reason:
1 person liked this post: Mr. DekuNuts