The Newbie Guide to the Zelda Universe (And how to join a clan!)
Hello, and welcome to Zelda Universe. The internet's largest Zelda fansite with the highest concentration of awesomeness per capita!
Whether you're new to ZU, forums in general, or even just need a refresher on some things, this guide is here to help you get along with the rest of the community.
For those of you familiar with the original Newbie's Guide, there have only been a few small changes in content. However, it is now better-organized into an index style to make it an easier read and quicker to find what you need to know. Each section will be summarized in this post, so simply click the link to the subject you're looking for and it will take you right there, or just scroll down. Index
I hope all this information is useful to you. If you have any further questions or feedback as to how this could be improved, feel free to PM Nicolette, Caleb, or another moderator. Enjoy your stay at Zelda Universe!
Re: The Newbie Guide to the Zelda Universe (And how to join a clan!)
:: 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 warning/infraction.
Posting New Threads
When you want make a new thread, think about what it is. Try to keep your posts in the correct forum. For example, 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 & Wii Zelda. If you aren't sure where to post, check with a mod before posting the thread. 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 try and put it in the correct place to begin with.
Before you post a new thread or ask 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, or use the search function (located at the top of every page). 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, avoid necro-posting! That's when you post in a thread that is really old. It's against the rules and if it becomes a recurring problem, can result in warnings/infractions. The general guideline on this is 3 months- meaning if it's been 3 months since the last post, it's usually a good idea to create a new thread. This will help incite more discussion as well as avoiding outdated posts. Remember though, that this is a guideline and can change depending on the thread.
When you create a new thread, you have the option of adding a poll, which will appear at the top of the thread. After you have made your post, you there is an option to make a poll. Check the "yes" box under "Post a Poll?" Then follow instructions.
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.
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. This is considered spam and can lead to warnings and infractions. Expand on your thoughts, explain why you feel how you do, or what source you're getting information from. Try to make each post something that will continue the conversation. If you just want to agree with someone, or tell them you like an idea, use the "like this post" function.
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 sometimes the topic can change. However be careful not to get sucked into off topic side conversations. Read through the whole thread if possible and get a feel for what direction the thread is going in.
There are language filters here, however trying to avoid them is against the rules. if you are caught avoiding them you may receive a warning or infraction from a moderator. This includes using code tags, images and videos.
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. Remember, Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages.
Double posting is rude and generally discouraged. To help avoid this posts made soon after each other in the same thread will automatically be merged. However, though it is permissible is some cases, such as an artist updating a thread int he art forum, you should be using the edit button to add to your posts after longer periods of time. Please remember that this rule includes bumping threads.
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 than 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." If you want to use a color that is not listed in the drop-down menu, you can use hex code in place of the name. This website is a simple way to pick a color. Keep in mind that it is generally better to use color text sparingly rather than write entire posts in a different color.
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?
There's also a secondary spoiler tag which can also be useful for compacting large sections of text, or hiding large images.
The [espoiler][/espoiler] tags create a compact spoiler section which can be opened and hidden. However this must be done manually, the spoiler button in the reply window will give you regular spoiler tags.
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
Warnings and Infractions
The forums operate on a 10 point system. That means that if you get 10 points, you will be temporarily banned from the forums.
if you are caught breaking a rule, you will receive a formal warning from a moderator. These do not count towards your points and will expire after a set amount of time. However, if you are caught reoffending before your warning expires, you will be given an infraction.
Infractions are given when a member repeatedly breaks the rules. Depending on what the rule violation is, the infraction will count for a set number of points. Most infractions will be either 2 or 4 points, although they could also be more or less.
Major offenses, such as harassment, or posting explicit images/text can result in an insta-ban. There is zero tolerance on these things and you will not receive a warning. Insta-bans are worth 10 points, and will not expire. In other words, break one of these rules and you will not be returning to the forums.
Re: The Newbie Guide to the Zelda Universe (And how to join a clan!)
:: General Forum Stuff ::
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. You can also do this when viewing somone's profile by clicking on the contact info tab.
When PMing someone, be sure to enter in a subject.
The rules from the rest of the forums still apply to PMs. Particularly flaming, and advertising. If this is reported, it will be looked into, and could result in warnings, infractions, or an insta-ban.
Visitor messages are a communication feature of 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, infraction or ban.
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", or be on the other person's profile 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.
Ranks & Custom Ranks
Beneath everyone's name, there is a title. These titles correspond to the post count of the user.
Users can change their custom rank upon joining. This can be done in the "Edit your details" section of your user control panel, in the box titled, "Custom User Title."
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 4 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. If you do change your name, it's a good idea to let everyone know in the Community Thread (find the current one in the Community Central) so that people will know who you are with your new identity!
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.
Forum Moderators have control over one (or more) forums. They can lock threads, move threads, issue warnings, issue infractions, ban members, delete posts, and delete threads.
Section Moderators have the same abilities as Forum Moderators, but over an entire section (such as “Community” or “Zelda”) of Zelda Universe.
Super Moderators have power over every forum and can also do basic administrative tasks, such as blocking users from seeing certain forums.
Code Wizards/Administrators/Webmasters have all of the powers of a Super Moderator, but can also alter the forums and/or website. While Code Wizards are essentially Administrators, their jobs are different. Code Wizards handle the technical parts of the forums while Administrators oversee the forums themselves. As such, do not ask Code Wizards to do forum-related tasks such as locking threads.
The site staff generally are not involved in running the forums (unless they hold positions on both staffs), but look after the main page. Things like news posting, and the podcast are jobs of site staff.
Site Staff member banners in Zelda Universe:
Site Staff members have the ability to write news articles for the main site to keep ZU in the latest of news for upcoming Zelda games, or other Nintendo related news.
ZUBC members are responsible for developing and organizing podcasts for ZU. They are also known as the “voices” of ZU.
Just like anywhere else, these forums have a certain set of etiquette rules, things you should always keep in mind when interacting with others to avoid fights and arguments, or trouble.
Do not make an entire post in leet speak or IM talk. It is incredibly annoying to read. In fact, if you don't have a damn good reason to use it, don't at all. It is annoying.
Grammar! Nothing will make people hate you more than a horrendous lack of it. This includes things such as puncuation, spelling, and proper use of paragraphs. You don't have to be perfect, but at least try.
Flaming is looked down upon, and can be punished with warnings, infractions, 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. 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. Also remember that these count towards the 15 images allowed per post.
Rent-a-modding, that is to say, acting on behalf of a moderator, is frowned upon, and if continued, will result in warnings and infractions. 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, even though it is a true and valid statement.
Re: The Newbie Guide to the Zelda Universe (And how to join a clan!)
:: Signatures & Avatars ::
Your avatar is a picture displayed underneath your username when you post messages. An avatar cannot be larger than 130x100 pixels and 150 kb. You can use one of ZU's default avatars, find a picture yourself, or get one from the Graphics Design section.
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 650x240 pixels & 250kb (maximum; animated or not), or two pictures which add up to no more than 650 pixels wide and 240 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. Photobucket, ImageShack, imgur, and Minus are all free image hosting sites that you can use. Of course, there are more out there to use if you don't like those.
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]http://www.zeldauniverse.net/forums/new-members-board/your_picture'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.
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 "http://members.lycos.co.uk/kokirikid256/boat.jpg", which is for one of my old avatars.
Signature shops and their owners in the Graphics Design section make quality images for your signature and avatar needs.
Re: The Newbie Guide to the Zelda Universe (And how to join a clan!)
:: Clans ::
What is a clan?
In ZU, there are three clans: Din (Power), Farore (Courage) and Nayru (Wisdom). Each clan has their own secret clan forum. The atmosphere inside the clans is more relaxed and casual than the rest of the forums, and forum games are allowed. Each clan is comprised of all kinds of different people with different kinds of personalities. As such, don't expect everyone within your determined clan to simply be comprised of power-hungry, courageous, or wise people.
*Please also note that the clans are not moderated the same as the rest of the boards. They are considered private boards and thus are home to more [im]matture subject matter. If you are easily offended by profanity, vulgarity, or stupidity then joining a clan may not be for you.*
Joining a Clan
First of all, you must
be a member at ZU for one month
and also have fifty (50) non-spam posts.
This is to make sure you just don’t get into a clan and then go inactive. Second, you send a request by PM to
about taking the clan test. Once you’ve taken the test, you will be placed in one of the clans. Only send the request to one moderator at a time.
FAQs About Clans
I want to be in the X Clan. Is there a specific moderator I should send the test to so I'm sure to get into the clan I want?
No, there is not. A moderator handing out the test could be in a specific clan, but that does not mean they'll place you there automatically.
I don’t know much about Zelda, can I still take the clan test?
Yes, the clan test has little to do about Zelda. There is one Zelda-related question, but even then you really don't have to know anything about Zelda to answer it. Improvise if stuck.
Can I fail the test?
Yes. If your clan test grader finds your answers a bit lacking, he/she will ask you to answer the test again and point out what you did wrong. If the second attempt is still unsatisfactory, you must wait a month before requesting the test again.
What happens if I get an even score between two clans?
At the test-giver's discretion, you may be asked which of the two clans you prefer, or your test answers may be shared with the other test-givers to get a second opinion. However, once a decision is made, it is final.
I’ve asked for the test/sent in my answers but haven’t received an answer! Why?
Most likely, the person you sent the request to hasn’t seen it yet. Have patience . If you don’t get an answer in a week, you can send a new PM asking why.
I’ve sent in my request for a test/answers, and now it's been weeks without a reply. The mod isn't answering to my PM's! Whatever shall I do?
First of all, send your answers to another moderator. Then, send a PM to the first moderator, telling them (politely!) that you grew tired of waiting and turned to someone else. Keep in mind that this is something done when you've waited for a long time, and not if it's only been a day since you sent in your answers the first time.
Alright, so I got the test, now what?
Now you answer the questions according to your own beliefs. Follow the directions given to you on the test, and answer the questions as openly and as truthfully as possible, so that the grader can get a good idea of where to place you.
Right, I've answered the questions. Now what?
Well, you send the questions to the person who gave you the test. Then you sit back and wait until you get a reply back with information on what clan you got into. By the same time, you'll gain your clan banner and access to your clan's secret forum.
I’m in a clan, but I can’t see the Clan Board!
Again, have patience. After your test got corrected and you got informed on your clan, the results were forwarded to a supermoderator or an admin who will put you in your clan. Sometimes you get there instantly, while at other times the S.mod/Admin have a life and can't put you in a clan right away. Patience is key. If you have been able to see the Clan Board, but now can't, contact an admin and ask for help.
I don't like this clan anymore, can I swap to another?
Before even considering a clan swap, we ask that you spend at least three months in your clan. In general, clan swapping is frowned upon by the mods, and you need a very good reason for wanting to swap, and should it come to pass, clan swapping will be entirely to the discretion of the moderators. Naturally, swapping more than once will be much harder than your initial swap and is rarely permitted - so be sure to think things through before coming to a decision. Reasons like "my friend is in another clan so I would like to join them" aren't good enough. Try consulting with your respective clan mod and ask advice about fitting in with your new clan. Again, you can be denied a clan swap for whatever reason, as it is up to the discretion of the moderating team. Do not request a clan swap from more than one moderator, otherwise, you will be denied a clan swap altogether.
Fine, then I don't want to be in a clan at all!
It is possible to be removed from the clans all together, all you need to do is send a moderator a PM asking for it. However, it'd work just like if you swapped clans, and you would not be able to take the test to join another clan. It is not a loophole! Also, if you're tired of your clan, you could just stop visiting it, instead of asking for removal.
Re: The Newbie Guide to the Zelda Universe (And how to join a clan!)
:: Other Important Information ::
As you make your way around the forums, you may notice some members with other banners which haven't been mentioned above. While some may be custom made and put into their CR, these are the other official banners.
Community Coordinators are members who are currently involved the organization and running of community based projects such as ZUHC. These members only hold this banner as long as they are involved in the project, it is a temporary status.
B.A. Council members are in charge of character approval and other various tasks in the Battle Arena area
Patrons are members that have generously given money to support ZU.
Zelda Wiki.org Contributors are members that have made a significant contribution (1,000+ edits) to the ZeldaWiki.
Retired staff are members who have served as staff in the past, and we thank them for all their hard work!
Many new members have a hard time finding their way around the forums, using the forums, and/or getting to know the rules. With that in mind the adoption system was created. It allows older, more experienced members to guide new members through these things.
If you feel you're having a hard time with the forums, go to the Adoption Lodge and follow the instructions in the opening post.
Once you become more experienced and have met some certain requirements, you too can become an adopter and help out new members. For more information see the OP of the Lodge.
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 Characters and Resources 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. In addition, if you want to participate on story-driven roleplaying, seek the Virtual Character Reality - and for more information, don't be afraid to ask in that area of ZU!
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.
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.
Some boards around ZU are not visible to everyone. These are known as restricted boards.
These boards become accessible to certain user groups. For example, being in a clan will allow you to see that clan's board.
Generally speaking, if you have access to one of these boards, it should be considered confidential. They are restricted for a reason, so that not everyone can see and read them.
Some members joke about a random board that becomes visible now and then. There's no such board so don't waste your time looking for it.
Rules and Guidelines
The ZU forums have a set of rules and regulations which members must follow. Failure to do so will result in warnings and infractions, which in turn can lead to a ban.
The rules are enforced by moderators. This does not mean they are above the rules though. If you have a problem with a moderator's action, or think that something they did was unfair, you are welcome to bring it up with them, or another mod in private. However, do it in a polite and respectful manner. Just because you disagree with them does not mean you are right, or the decision will be changed.
The rules can be found here, or under the "Information" tab on the menu bar at the top of the page.
Remember that the rules are up to the interpretation of the mods. Not every mod in every section will interpret them the same way. You will have to get a feel for each mod's, and section's style because they will all have different standards.