Forum FAQ ( answers to common BZBB questions )

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Forum FAQ ( answers to common BZBB questions )

Post by JeffM » Wed Jul 23, 2003 3:16 am

This is the FAQ thread. hopefully this will help with some of those questions that are frequently asked. If you have any suggestions on things to add to this list just hit that button down there that says "PM" and let me know. Or contact any of the admins:
L4m3r
DTRemenak
Learner
Blast
TimRiker
Bryjen
joevano
Bullet Catcher
Constitution

Please also be sure to read the forum rules
here http://my.bzflag.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=890

Let the games begin.

General Board questions:

Q) What is this thing?
A)
These are the BZFlag Forums. The "official" message board for the game BZFlag. It is also often called BZBB. Neat isn't it? We like it :).

Q) What is BZFlag?
A)
BZFlag is a free online tank shooting game for a large number of platforms. You drive around in tanks, and shoot other tanks (look at the top of this and every other page for the general idea). The official BZFlag site is http://www.bzflag.org. BZFlag is an OpenSource project, contributions are always welcome.

Q) Are there other official BZFlag forums?
A)
No there are not. The bzflag sourceforge site is mostly disused, and only checked for patches and bug reports. Other then our IRC channel, this is where the majority of project discussion and support happens.

Q) Where can I get BZflag?
A)
http://sourceforge.net/projects/bzflag has a downloads section.

Q) Do I have to register here?
A)
You are required to register an account to reply to a post, or make your own topic. You do not need an account to read posts ( aka lurk ). A valid email address is required to set up an account. We will NOT give out your e-mail address to anyone, even if they pay us a bazillion dollars. If they do try to pay us that much, we'll just make up a bunch of addresses and split it with ya all :).

Q) My account will not stay longed in, what is wrong?
A)
Be sure that you are using the proper URL for the BZFlag websites. The URL should be http://my.bzflag.org/bb . Any use of the .net or .com URLs will not allow your browser to save the proper cookie.

Q) Where is the board hosted?
A)
The board is hosted at a datacenter,in the United States and maintained by the Project Admins. The board software is the most excellent phpbb.

Q) I think you should run (insert messageboard software that is not as cool as phpbb here), it Roxorz!!!~~~!~!~!
A)
We have spent a fair amount of time setting up this board and it works just fine for us, thanks. The forums are also used for our in game user management so changing to any other system would not be a trivial task.

Q) Are there any rules, guidelines here that I should know about?
A)
Why yes there are, thanks for asking. Please see the Board Rules (or 21 ways to win friends and influence people) post for our board policy.

Q) Are you guys all hardball about stuff like that?
A)
Somewhat. The general slip up every now and again is fine, but we do take posts that deal with personal things rather seriously. Posts that deal with cheats, bans, or personal attacks in a public forum will most often be removed.

Q) What is the official language of these forums?
A)
If you haven't guessed English is the common tongue here. Tho BZFlag has fans all over the world.

Q) Can I post in (Insert language JeffM2501 does not understand here )?
A)
Sure, but just know that everyone may not know what you are saying, and it would be nice if you put what the language was in the topic subject so that people who don't know the language don't go in there.

Q) You can't spell can you?
A)
Nope, thanks for pointing it out.

Q) I am under 13 what do I have to do to post?
A)
For users under the age of 13 we need a Verifiable Parental Consent letter. This is mostly for the protection of the underage users. It needs to contain explicit parental consent, and an acknowledgment that this board does collect information about it's users, primarily the e-mail address of each user is required for an account. Other information may be stored by the message board system but is optionally provided by each user (e.g. aim name, web URL etc). We will never give out any private information for any reason. The letter is also let the parent know that while we try to keep this board acceptable for people of all ages, we have no direct control over what our users post. We will take whatever measures we can to remove any offending content from a user, but we are only human and can only react so fast, therefore we can not be held liable for the contents of our users' posts.

Please contact an administrator for info on where to send this letter.

More info on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act can be found here:
Last edited by JeffM on Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:01 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Post by JeffM » Wed Jul 23, 2003 4:10 am

User account questions:

Q) How do I get one of those cool images above my name there on the right?
A)
That is called an avatar. You can pick one from our meager gallery, or upload your own from a URL or right from your own drive. All the Avatar settings are in your profile, just hit the "profile" link at the top of any page to edit your profile. Please try to keep your image smallish in file size, and tasteful, or you'll offend people, and thats not nice.

Q) There are women here?!?! Women play BZFlag?
A)
Yes a fair number of them, now calm down.

Q) Do you think any of them would go out with me?
A)
No.

Q) Are you making fun of me?
A)
Yes.

Q) What is that thing under my name that says "Cadet" or "Private", and how come people have things like "General" or others, under there names?
A)
This is your rank. We use the rank to provide a little info about how long a user has been around. Posters will get basic ranks. People who have been around a while and help out the community will get higher ranks. Developers and Administrators have even higher ranks. They don't mean much, they are just a way to show our thanks to those that help out the project.

Q) What is a "PM"?
A)
PM stands for "Private Message" this is a system that works very similar to E-mail, but is only internal to the message board. It's a very nice way to comunicate privately to another user.

Q) Can I make the board send me an e-mail when (insert thing I like in here ) happens?
A)
Sure, just go to your profile and set up your email actions.

Q) How can I change my password? My dumb little brother got it and he keeps posting as me saying stupid stuff!
A)
Sure he did. You can change your password right in your profile page. An Administrator is not needed for a simple password change.

Q) I can't log in I forogot/mistyped/swallowed my password.
A)
Use the "I forgot my password" link when you try to log in, it will make it all better. If that dosn't work, please contact me or another admin, and we will help you out.

Q) How come some people have green names in the user list?
A)
They are moderators and/or server operators. They have the ability to edit posts in one or more topics.

Q) Can I be a moderator, I'm really good, and fair, and have played the game forever, and I am really good at banning people?
A)
I'm sure you are, but we are not looking for any moderators at this time.
Last edited by JeffM on Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:11 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by JeffM » Wed Jul 23, 2003 4:11 am

Message Board questions.

Q) What is a "forum"?
A)
A forum is a list of topics grouped by a common theme. All the forums are listed on the main page.

Q) Can I make a forum?
A)
No, they are always there, and not user creatable. If you have an idea for a new forum please let us know.

Q) What is a "Topic"?
A)
A topic is a single post and one or more replies on a single subject or "topic". They are also called "Threads"

Q) Can I make a topic?
A)
Sure just choose the appropriate forum, click it, then hit the "new topic" button, and enter in your text. Don't forget the subject. Also, you can't create a topic if you're not registered / logged in to the board.

Q) What is a "post"?
A)
A post is a single message from a user. It is either the start of a topic, or a reply to a topic. It's the message part of "message board".

Q) Can I make a post?
A)
Abso-freakin-lutely, that's what we are here for. Just hit the "New topic" button, or the "Reply" button in a topic. Advanced users can use the "quick reply" button in a thread to post a response without going all the way to the reply page.

Q) Can I use HTML, XML,Java in my posts?
A)
No, HTML has been disabled. If you put HTML code in a post it will just show up as text. There were too many security issues with HTML. If you want to imbed stuff like images and links in your posts just use the bbcode.

Q) What is BBCode?
A)
BBCode is a feature that lets you imbed Image images and Links in your posts. It also lets you apply formatting to your text. Please see the BBCode reference page for more info.

Q) How do I put that thing at the bottom of all my posts with my name and images and links and stuff? Those are cool.
A)
That is called a signature, or a "sig", you can edit your sig in your profile.

Q) How do I get those little happy faces in my posts?
A)
Those are called emoticons, or smilies, just click on one when you post, or hit the "view more emoticons" link to see the entire list. Then you get fun stuff like this :D Just please go easy on them, too many is anoying as all get out.

Q) Are there any hidden secret forums?
A)
Yes they are hidden and secret.

Q) How do I get one of those pictures under my name on the left?
A)
That is your avatar, you set it in your profile page, using the profile button at the upper left of every page.
Last edited by JeffM on Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:12 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Post by JeffM » Wed Jul 23, 2003 4:24 am

Board usage questions

Q) My post is gone, what the heck man?
A)
One of 2 things happened. First your post may have been moved to a more appropriate section. Look around for new posts and see if you find it. This happens a lot.
Second, your post may have been deleted. Posts that violate our board rules, or are inappropriate will be removed. The original poster generally receive a PM telling them why it was removed. Repeat offenders may not get a PM and are probably on the road to being banned. If you have a question about a specific post removal please send a PM to myself or one of the other board admins, we'll gladly discuss it with you. Do not make a new public post asking about the old post, it will just be removed too.

Q) [insert name here] is an idiot, can you ban them?
A)
No, if they are being rude or not following the rules we will take care of it. There is a very nice "report" button on each post ( the ! symbol), you can click it to report the post as being inappropriate.

Q) [insert name here] is/does something I don't like so I'm going to be rude to them in my post, that's ok right?
A)
No, This is not a place for flamewars, pissing contests, cheat accusations, or any other derogatory comments. You have to play well with the others as we all have to share this board. If you have an issue with a specific person, send them a PM and take care of it there. If you can't deal with someone then that is your problem, it does not give you the right to be an ass. If you just want to rant, get a blog, they are free. http://www.blogspot.com

Q) I have this kewl idea for a new (flag/gametype/tank) can you get it in the game?
A)
While you are welcome to post your ideas in the enhancements forum, it is best to put feature requests into the official sourceforge system. While most developers do read these boards, it is not designed to track enhancements.

Q) GM/Laser/[insert name of any other flag] is too powerful, I think it should be removed from the game.
A)
Yes, yes, we know you hate it when you get shot with that dreaded flag. And this is a perfect place to discuss new game balance issues, but please don't just post that you think it should be removed. Have a well thought out balance case ready, and tell us what you think should be done. The game is older then you think and it's been balanced quite a bit.

Q) [insert name here] is an camper!
A)
There is no such thing as camping, go shoot them.

Q) [insert name here] hunts me all the time!
A)
Yes getting shot is the flip side of shooting, they probably don't like you, or you are really good, go shoot them.

Q) I found a horrible bug and I reported it here, is it fixed?
A)
Again while you can post about bugs here, it is best if you report it to the sourceforge site for proper tracking.

Q) My real kewl flag idea that kills everyone on the map but me, was rejected. Doesn't Tim read these boards and see how kewl it would make me... um I mean the game?
A)
Tim does not read these boards very often. And your flag idea was probably lame. If you really want to push it then hit up the IRC channel, or make a patch with your flag and submit it. The project is now administrated by a group of 4 people, not just Tim. So it is highly likely that if your idea is good, it can be approved and implemented by one of the other admins if you talk to us about it. At the very least you'll get a good understanding of why the idea won't be approved.

Q) Are you making fun of me again?
A)
No.

Q) my.bzflag.org ( or other site) is down, can you make it come back up? or do you know what happened?
A)
Yes it's a website, they go down on occasion, and no we can't fix it.

Q) Will you help me make my stupid game?
A)
No, we will not help you make your stupid game.

Q) Can I post cheats here?
A)
No, cheating is lame, learn to play and use your programming powers for good. Help the game, don't hinder it. No talk of cheating will be tolerated here.

Q) Can I post a map here?
A)
Sure we have a nice forum for that.

Q) Where do I put off topic stuff?
A)
you don't, we no longer offer an off topic section.

Q) I'm going to leave the game in an overly dramatic way, where do I post that?
A)
You don't. It's a game, not a lifestyle choice. If you feel you want some time off, then take it off. You don't need to post up a big long sobby "goodbye" post, about how your never coming back ever again. Because it's a game... one day you'll get bored, pop back in, have some fun, and be "back". Now your big long post looks really stupid, doesn't it.. Just take the time off, it's your time, live it how you wish :) Although if you are on a team, it's good form to let your team know you'll be gone for a while.


Q) I'm 13 and I REALY LOVE YOUR BOARD, and the game. I am going to reply to every single post I see. I want to start a server, can you help me? what is a router? what is an IP. I want a flag that kills everyone, how do I code in C++? What is a compiler? I need more pixie stix.
A)
I'm not even sure if that's a question. This board is considered a "family" board, in the fact that we are more then happy to allow younger players in. If you are under 13 you will need to get your parents permissions. But we do try to run the board ( and the BZFlag Community ) in a mature way. Really you don't have to reply to every post. Please try to reply only if you have something to add ( see the "me too" rule ). And while it's great that you all are willing to help out so much, we can't always take the time to teach you everything you need to know. We will assume that everyone here is capable of reading instructions, searching the Interent, and is familiar with the basic usage of their computers..

So if we tell you to read the manual, we are not blowing you off, we are telling you where to get the info you requests. Also running a server is not an easy thing. Please think before you ask, and you may want to get your parents help in setting it up, if your not familiar with how the internet ( not the web ) works.

Anyone who generates a great number of posts, with little or no substance is subject to having those posts removed. If you post so much that people start skipping threads with your name in them, we have a problem. We know your REALLY excited about this game, but really calm it down. We aren't being mean to you, we are just trying to get you to fit in well with the rest of the community so we can all get along.

Also please make sure 1) you get your posts in the right forum, 2) DON'T TYPE IN ALL CAPS, 3) We don't really care what you are doing every single day of the week, or when you leave and come back. So please don't post on it.
Last edited by JeffM on Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:35 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Post by JeffM » Wed Jul 23, 2003 4:44 am

Misc...

Q) I'm really really pissed off at [insert names here], remove my account!
A)
We are not doing that any more. Really just let us know who is making you mad and we can talk to them. If you "HAVE" to leave, we will deactivate your account but we will not remove it. Just in case you want it back. This makes it easier.

Q) Can I be a BZCop?!?!?! I'm really fair, and I know how to ban cheaters, and I never cheat. and I'm really good at kicking and banning! I won an award at the county fair for it. I think I wold be a good Cop!
A)
The BZCop system is dead, gone, and even no more. It was run by stats.bzflag.org. It has nothing to do with this board. If it ever comes back I'm sure they will take care of their own recruitment. And as a general rule, if you have to ask to be an admin, you should not be an admin.

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