This guide is intended to provide pretty much all the basic information you need to understand this forum, and answer all the questions that get repeatedly posted.
- 1 Guide to vBulletin
- 2 TWC's BB Code
- 3 TWC Terms of Service and Forum Rules
- 4 The Tribunal and the Questions and Suggestions Forum
- 5 Signatures, Avatars, and Profile Pictures
- 6 Some Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 The Constitution and the Curia
- 8 How to become a Citizen
- 9 Meet the Staff
- 10 Member Ranks
- 11 Post Count Ranks
- 12 Reputation
Guide to vBulletin
Here you can find an FAQ for vBulletin, who provide our forum software. Questions on how to use the forum itself, can be found here
TWC's BB Code
Ever wondered how to make your text go bold or italic or all the many many other things you can do with text?
Here's the complete list of all the BB tags we use here.
TWC Terms of Service and Forum Rules
Every member when they sign up is expected to keep to these rules. They're enforced by the moderators, and failure to comply will result in warnings suspensions, and ultimately, a permanent ban. We recommend you read and familiarise yourself with them! Terms of Service
The Tribunal and the Questions and Suggestions Forum
These two forums are located in the Administrative Forums at the bottom of the main page and provide a place for members to come and sort out and any problems or issues.
This is the place to go if you think you've been unfairly moderated or received a caution, warning, or suspension you don't think is justified. You may air your grievance and three appointed Judges (independent of the moderating staff) will review your case. Suspended members have the ability to post in this forum and this forum alone. The Tribunal forum.
Questions and Suggestions
If you have a question that has not been answered by this handy little guide, or you have any suggestion or comment you'd like to make that you think might make TWC that little bit better, then here is the place to post. All thoughts and comments welcome! Questions and Suggestions forum.
Signatures, Avatars, and Profile Pictures
Signatures are bound to a 550×175 pixel box automatically, with anything outside of that being cut off. The maximum file size of all signature images may not exceed 250 KB according to the current TOS.
Custom avatars and user pictures must be uploaded to TWC from your User Control Panel. You will be told the maximum size of each when you try to upload them. At the time of this writing, the maximum sizes are 100×100 pixels or 80 KB (whichever is smaller) for avatars, and 640×480 pixels or 250 KB (whichever is smaller) for profile pictures.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some miscellaneous questions we've been regularly asked not covered elsewhere in this guide.
- How do I make polls?
- You can only make a poll if you are starting a new topic. What you need to click to add a poll to your post is the 'Yes, post a poll...' box near the bottom of the screen. If you need to add a poll later then you need to PM a senior Moderator.
- What's the "Report" button?
- This red button at the bottom right of each post will generate an automatic email to all the moderators of that forum telling that that post has been reported. You can use it to tell the moderators every time you see a post that breaks the Terms of Service. Reporting posts is encouraged!
- I've just taken a glance at the Political Mudpit and the Ethos, Mores, et Monastica sections of the Common Community, and I want to post there! But I do not want to get completely butchered by the experienced members who already post in those sections. How can I, a complete newb, post in those sections without getting hacked into little pieces?
- I can offer four pieces of advice for this: read, edit, give sources, and stay calm.
- Read - What you first need to do is read the entire thread. This is important as it can give you sources for information (which are very important for a debate) and tells you what has already been argued about. Unless you are bringing new information regarding a past issue or point, it is redundant to dredge up an old settled argument, especially if it has been some time since it was last talked about in the thread.
- Edit - After you have written your response, always send it through a spellchecker after reading it over again yourself. It is imperative to ensure that there are as few as possible spelling and grammatical errors in your post.
- Give Sources - A credible source can go a long way in helping you win a debate. Facts without sources will be often disregarded as mere opinion.
- Stay Calm - Far too often, members become frustrated and angry on various threads. This happens to all at times, and the best cure is to step away from the debate. What you do after that is up to you, but do not go back to the debate until you have calmed down. If a debate looks like it is getting too heated, a moderator will often close down a thread temporarily to clean up heated posts, as well as giving both parties a chance to calm down.
- How would I defend myself against flamers and trolls?
- Hopefully you won't have to! But if someone does flame you or troll you, report their post using the Report button. DON'T respond in kind. If you flame someone who flames you, that just starts a flame war and you'll find yourself in as much trouble as the original flamer.
- What if I want to express my opinion about certain members and I want to contact them individually?
- Try emailing them if they enabled their email address, or use the "private messaging" - PM. Be careful though, members do (and should) report harassing or annoying PMs to moderators. Just because it is a private message, it does not give you leeway to flame or troll others.
- Can I vote in polls?
- To vote in polls you have to have 25 posts and been registered for at least one week. This was introduced to prevent people creating duplicate accounts and spamming our site awards with them.
- How do I change my name?
- Post in the Name change requests thread in the Questions & Suggestions forum.
The Constitution and the Curia
If you've got this far, you've probably realised TWC isn't like any other major forum you've been a part of. The Constitution is a big reason why. About 4 years ago when TWC was small and cosy, the 3 administrators of the time felt that it would be good to reward their core body of active members. The reward they gave this core group was the ability to have a say on how the site is run. The Constitution is the document that sets out how it all works.
Citizenship is awarded to members who make noteworthy contributions to the forum. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Creating After Action Reports (AARs) on battles fought in the various Total War games. - Creating a mod, or working as part of a mod team for the Total War games. - Serving as a member of the TWC staff (Moderator, Helios/Eagle Standard writer, Librarian, etc.) - Showing your dedication to the site by making consistent intelligent posts around the forum.
Additionally, there are two types of Citizen. A Civitate is a Citizen whose primary contribution has been in debates and discussions. An Artifex is a Citizen whose primary contribution has been modding work. All the moderators on the site are drawn from the citizen class as well. To find out how to become a citizen, read on below!
The Curia has a number of institutions which help to oversee the citizen class, or run the site. One of them, the Tribunal, has already been mentioned above. The three Tribunal judges are all elected by the Curia.
The Consilium de Civitate
This is a body of 12 elected Citizens who govern promotions and demotions. They vote on whether a member should be promoted from Peregrinus to Citizen, as well as performing other responsibilities listed in the Constitution. If a Citizen has broken the rules, they may also vote to suspend or strip him of his rank. The CdeC maintain a thread in the Curia giving updates on who the current members are and what they've been doing. You can view their current thread here.
An in-depth guide to the Curia may be found here.
The Curial Officers
To oversee the running of the Curia and its various bodies, there are a number of elected Curial Officers.
- The Curator
- The Curator deals with the day to day running of the Curia. he moves debates vote, orders the archives, maintains order in the Curia, and also makes rulings on the interpretation of the constitution where necessary. He holds his term for 3 months.
- The current Curator is Justinian
- The Modding Registrar
- The Registrar is responsible for running and maintaining the modding registry. He holds his term for 3 months.
- The current Registrar is Hader
- The TWC Wiki Editor
- The Wiki editor is responsible for overseeing the work done on the Wiki Project. He has a 3 month term.
- The current Editor is Spiff
The Curial Committees
A Curial Committee can be convened by the Council to discuss or investigate a particular issue. They are designed to bring members of the staff and the Curia together to work on a particular project. There is currently one committee, The Curial Committee on the expansion of TWC.
How to become a Citizen
So, after reading all that, has it caught your interest? Do you want to get involved in running this site? Do you want to have your say on how we do things here? Then here's how.
To become a citizen of TWC you first have to meet the qualifications. These are set pretty low and it's not a case of everyone who meets these gets the rank automatically. To qualify for Citizen, a member must have at least fifty posts, been a registered member for one month, and have no warnings within the last six months. Non-point infractions or 'notes' are not factored into this.
Above and beyond these basic standards, the rank is then awarded for contributions. So if you think you make a valuable contribution to the site, chances are you're citizen material.
To get promoted you have to be patronised by an existing citizen. There are two ways this can happen. The most common is for a citizen to notice your contributions and send you a PM asking if you'd like the rank. If however, you think you are worthy, you don't have to wait to be noticed! You can PM a citizen directly and ask if they will sponsor you. Only those citizens who have themselves held their rank for 3 months can patronise.
If you get asked, or a citizen agrees to patronise you, you then have to write a short paragraph explaining why you want to be a citizen and why you think you are worthy. Keep in mind that the better you present your case to the CdeC, the more likely you will be considered citizen material. Include links to your most worthy contributions, be they modifications tools or work, or well-composed debates. PM the paragraph to your patron; they'll add their own comments and PM both to a member of the Consilium de Civitate. The CdeC will then take a week to discuss and vote on you. If you get 60% of the non abstaining votes, you'll receive a PM from the Curator congratulating you, and have your rank, a shiny new badge, and all the privileges of being recognised as one of TWC's outstanding members!
If, for whatever reason, you should fail the vote you must wait 1 month before you can apply again
More info can be found on the TWC forums, with a quick and simple walkthrough.
Meet the Staff
Got a desire to know who the mighty and powerful are who work overtly and covertly to make TWC a better place? Then you found your answers right here!
Additionally, a list of all those people with moderator status can be found on the Forum Leaders page
There are 3 ranks of staff officer
- Council Officer
- Senior Staff Officer
- Staff Officer
The Council Officers are the administrators who form the Council and run the show; the rest of the staff are divided into the 3 branches to serve the site. all staff may be recognized by their badges and oftentimes colour-coded usernames. All Officers display their officer rank in preference to their member rank, so there's no disguising them!
The Hexagonal Council
This is the governing body that runs the site. Its made up of four permanent members and a variable number of non-permanent members who contribute their specific talents to making TWC the best it can be.
- Permanent Officers
- Non Permanent Officers
The Moderation Branch
These are the people in staff responsible for enforcing the rules and terms of service across the forum.
- Chief Moderator
- Senior Moderators
- The Senior Mods, along with the two moderating admins and the site owner are responsible for setting TWC's moderation policy, and oversee its forum-wide enforcement. Their names appear Template:Senior Mod on the forum display, and they use the above badge
- Staff Moderators
- TWC's front line policemen, ready to enforce rules with edit button and ban stick! Shown with their names in Template:Staff Mod and the moderator badge, these are the people responsible for the day to day enforcement of TWC's rules.
The Content Branch
Articles, Competitions, Podcasts, yes indeed this is the content branch; responsible for all the community projects that go on here and always looking to expand. With so much to see and do the content branch is by far the biggest branch of TWC staff.
The permanent members of the various content projects have their names in blue and wear one of the badges shown below. Some publications have temporary members, or free lance reporters, who aren't considered part of the content staff.
- Chief of Content
- Senior Content Officer
- Each Senior Content Officer, usually an Editor but not always, has a specific publication or project that they manage. Editors have direct control over their publication's staff and are tasked with the smooth and effective running of their publications. They may also from time to time support the Content Manager in ongoing projects such as this very FAQ.
- The Senior Content Staff use the following badge
- Content Staffers
- The content staffers are the writers and other contributors to the various projects that go on here on TWC. They use this badge
- The Helios
- Editor: - The Sundance Kid
- The Eagle Standard
- Editor: - The Lizard King
- General Sun's Tent
- Editor: - General Sun
You can read General Sun's latest article in his Tent.
- TWC Podcast
- Editor: - Belisarius
You can download old and new TWC Podcasts from their forum.
- The Scriptorium
- Head Librarian: - jimkatalanos
You can view the Library here.
All current news Editors are listed here.
The Technical Branch
The most mysterious and smallest of the three branches of staff, the techies are the ones who by sheer skill and dint of hard effort amazingly keep this place together and just about functional.
The Techies have their names in blue like the content staff, but wear the tech Staff badge shown below. Each Technician has his own specialised access answering direct to the Chief Technician.
- Chief Technician
- Augustus Lucifer
While not everyone has a fancy officer's title, everyone on TWC has a rank. Officers, be they Staff or Curial, are the people who carry out various jobs, but each of them, along with everyone else will hold a rank as well. The higher your rank, the more privileges and access you have and the greater your opportunities for promotion to an officer position. There are two broad types of ranks, Honorary and Normal. The three Normal ranks carry all the benefits of a Citizen; the four Honorary ones are used as rewards for specific services rendered or for achievement.
The three Normal Ranks are as follows:
- This is the basic rank that everyone starts out on and many thousands of our members never achieve greater than this. Peregrinus grants posting rights in almost all of the forum and they have the opportunity to hold content and technical staff positions.
- Local Forum Moderator
- A Local Forum Moderator (or Local Moderator, Local Mod, or simply LM) is a normal member with Moderating powers inside a specific forum. They are usually devoted to this forum and its community. They are not counted as TWC staff.
- They may do all normal moderating procedures whithin that forum, though may not infract (that is ban or suspend) users. Should a certain member brake the ToS whithin that forum they should be reported as done all rule brakers.
- A Local Mod is identified with a grey coloured name rather than the user black colourred name, and they may change their usertitle. The Local Moderator title is inherited via Admin. Should you wish to become a Local Moderator of a certain forum you should get in countact with the chief forum moderator of that forum.
- This special rank is given as a reward by the CdeC to those members who make a significant contribution to the Forum. It carries all the benefits of Peregrinus but additionally it grants members posting ability in Symposium and the Curia, as well as voting rights. Citizens are therefore given the opportunity to have a say in how their site is run. After 3 months in the rank, Citizens can also begin patronising new citizens. Only Citizens and above can become a member of the moderating staff. Additionally, most Curial Offices have the requirement of Citizen rank.
- Citizens can choose to further define as one of two types depending upon which part of the site they most associate with.
- The Civitates are those who earned their rank through hard intelligent posting and thoughtful debate
- An Artifex is someone who earned their rank through modding
The Awarding of Normal Ranks is the job of the CdeC who may, if they feel it necessary, strip members of them. Requirements for the ranks are governed by the Curia.
It's possible for a member to hold multiple ranks or Officer Positions, and as such they will usually, but not always follow this precedent in choosing which rank to display. Administrators, Senior Content Staff and Moderators will normally always display that rank over all others for quick identification.
Ranks which are not awarded by the Curia.
- A god in Colchester
The current and only holder of this title is imb39. The story of this and the reason why he has chosen this title is from the famous novel "I, Claudias" (I, CLAVDIVS). Claudius became emperor because he was regarded as so weak and ineffectual by competing factions and as other parts of his family killed themselves. imb39 sees that he reached the top because he was viewed as harmless. He referred to himself as Claudius at times - though he doesn't claim to have any of his abilities!
One of the lines in the book is "a god in Colchester" so, Garbarsardar and a few other Administators gave him this title. Though technically, it should not exist or be allowed as it has not been passed by the Curia, though nobody has yet objected against him/it.
- For more information on Curial ranks and awards please see here.
Post Count Ranks
On the left hand side of each of your posts you'll note a number of things. First, your avatar, which you can set and change from your account control panel. Second, your Reputation, explained below. Third, your online status and add rep buttons. Fourth, your post count, and finally another rank.
Unlike your Peregrinus rank, this one is entirely meaningless and conveys nothing. It's merely associated with your Post Count. The more posts you have, the higher this rank. It's actually your custom user title, and only Citizens and above have the ability to override their title with one of their own design.
Here's the list of those ranks.
- Private 0
- Light Infantryman 1
- Rifleman 30
- Grenadier 50
- Drummer and Fifer 100
- Chosen Man 175
- Corporal 225
- Sergeant 275
- Colour Sergeant 300
- Drum Major 500
- Armoury Sergeant 550
- Quartermaster Sergeant 650
- Sergeant Major 900
- Regimental Sergeant Major 1000
- Ensign 1100
- Subaltern 1300
- Lieutenant 1450
- Captain 1550
- Brevet-Major 1650
- Major 1800
- Aide de Camp 1900
- Lieutenant Colonel 2000
- Colonel 3000
- Brigadier 3600
- Major General 4000
- Lieutenant General 6000
- Captain General 8000
- General 10000
- Field Marshal 15000
The reputation feature is a fun little thing that enables you to see your community standing with the other members. In theory, the more reputation you have, the more highly thought of you are by the other members of the community. It has no other real meaning, and many members choose to disable it.
Reputation here will be described as if you were using the default Medieval skin. The symbols are different on the Rome skin, or the Barbie skin.
If you are using the Rome skin, the add rep button is an eagle standard, a Ring is a helmet, and a crown is a legionary standard. The principle is the same however
If, (for whatever unknown reason!) you are using the Barbie skin, the add rep button is the eagle standard again, a ring becomes a type of spangly star, or maybe a flower and a crown is a diamond ring.
Moving swiftly back to the default Medieval Skin then...
- How do I give rep?
- You can add reputation to a post by clicking this button, on the left
- You can only add 1 point of rep to each post and you can only give 7 points total a day.
Additionally, you have to rep different users before you can give rep to the same user again, in order to prevent rep abuse.
- Who can give rep?
- Because of issues with account cloning in the past, where people created accounts just to give themselves rep, only users registered for at least one week with over 25 posts may give rep that counts. Users with less than 25 posts or who have been registered for less than a week will give a 0 rep point instead of 1, so any comments they leave will show up in your account, but you won't actually get a point for it. Please note, when a user jumps over the 25-post mark, rep they have given prior to that does not count retroactively. Furthermore, it may take an hour or so after your 25th post for your rep to start working, even if you've been registered for over a week by that point.
- Where does reputation show?
- Your reputation shows up in two places. One, on the left hand side where you post, a collection of symbols shows a rough guide to how much rep you have. Two, in your control panel. There's a more comprehensive display of the last 20 rep points you received, showing which post you got it for, who gave it, and any comment they left.
- Can I disable reputation?
- Yes, you can disable your reputation in your control panel. If you do so, your own rep won't show up but you'll still be able to give other people rep as well as receive it yourself.
- What does it look like?
- Each symbol represents a certain number of rep points. It starts at five, so if you have less than 3 rep points, you'll show the scales symbol for neutral rep.
- - Neutral Rep
- Some very few members who have received neg rep from the staff will have this replaced by a red square. Those users who have disabled the reputation feature will simply show a grey square.
- Once you hit 3 rep points, you'll get 1 gold ring
- Each ring = 3 points, so if someone has 5 rings, they have 15 Rep points. You can only get a maximum of 5 rings, after that the rings are transferred into a crown
- Each crown is worth 15 rep points.
- Scales: 0-2 Rep
- 1 Ring: 3-5 Rep
- 5 Rings: 15 Rep
- 5 Rings 1 Crown:30 Rep
- and so on