|The 4th version of this guide was written back in 2007 and needed some updating. I kept the original layout and most of the information. As they say if it's not broken, don’t fix it. I got blessing from Jay to make Version 5.0 of this guide.|
This guide is here to assist new members with their journey through the dark alleys of GTAForums and help them to get better understanding how everything works here.
|This forum has grown from strength to strength for the past decade and remains the biggest Grand Theft Auto community to date. As with many large forums, it can be unforgiving. One wrong thread and half a dozen bad replies can send a member's reputation down the can. More about that later.|
Although a lot of new members don't, it is a very good idea to read the rules. These threads can be found in the Announcements Forum.
Signature Size Rules: This thread spells out the guidelines for using forum signatures (images/text under your post) and the use of avatars (little images under your name).
Now a lot of people would leave it at this and go nuts. Once you have found and read the rules, it is pivotal that you remember why you registered at this forum, was it for help on a mission or to get information on an upcoming title? Was it looking for modifications?
Different sections of the forum might have additional posting requirements/rules. They always located at the pinned topics at the very top of the forum. It's advised to check them before making a new thread or it might get locked.
Be sure that you know where the "line" is and stay behind it. Nobody likes an obnoxious newbie. Begin posting where you think your opinions are applicable. Don't deliberately disagree with anyone or post the wrong thing in the wrong place, just lay low, post concisely yet detailed but don't spam. It is incredibly unfair, but people who have been here longer get away with posting some things others would be warned for.
When all else fails, be polite and don't overuse smilies and swear words.
|Reporting Offending Posts/Members|
|To assist the staff members to deal with spammy posts or members posting offensive material, there is a "Report Post" feature in the bottom right hand side of each post. If you see someone posting in a way which is breaking the rules, never, ever reply to it. That is just as bad as the person spamming in the first place. Always report the post, leave a detailed message for the moderator to follow, and leave the topic.|
If you see a member who has a large or offensive signature, you can also report the member by clicking on his or her profile (click on their username) and clicking on the "Report to Moderator" option. Then give a detailed description on what is wrong with the member's conduct or signature, etc.
Staff love members who are helpful, and when you submit reports it is completely anonymous to everyone besides them. They do not appreciate the feature being abused, so only use it when necessary.
|Grammar and Spelling|
|It is the thorn in a forums' side, members posting with poor grammar and spelling. Many people judge a forum by looking at only a few posts, and the actions of a single member may or may not entice them to join.|
It is important to realise that the term 'Newb' is warm an affectionate. It is far gone from 'Noob' and 'n00b'. Tim Buckley paints an accurate picture, but these are general definitions.
Newb, (n) (NEW-b) a member of an internet forum who actively participates in conversation and shows respect for senior members and is willing to learn.
This list from the previous guide was very handy:
Use punctuation (don't instead of dont).
Don't use large words that you are unsure of and may be taken the wrong way.
Use full stops.
Don't replace words with shortened abbreviations (before > b4).
Don't be plain when writing and use humour when necessary.
Be very apologetic when you cross someone the wrong way.
DO NOT use smilies in EVERY SENTENCE.
Lay off the Caps Lock.
|This part is fun, it gets you looking spiffy. Some people prefer to go without signatures and avatars, but the overwhelming majority love them.|
Signatures are the only place where you can advertise other websites. You cannot slip them into a post and you definitely cannot make a topic about them.
When you have an image you want to put in your signature (either uploaded here, here or here.) You can access your Signature Control Panel via My Controls here.
The total space your signature takes up must not exceed 500x150 pixels (see image below). This also includes any text you put around it. You also need to be wary of the size of the image file you are using, it must not be larger that 80kb.
For avatars, there are currently no size limits, but don't let that be open season for large files. Avatars must still be 64x64 pixels or less.
Although this forum does have an autoscaler which makes larger images fit the size restrictions, I would strongly urge you to shrink it yourself. This affects a vast, vast majority of users who scroll down and the browser "jiggles" as it has to take that little extra time to load your large avatar. I have been compelled many times to do it for people myself, but it is best that you do it yourself or request that is be done in GFX Requests & Tutorials.
|So they stand out, staff member's names appear as different colours on the "now online" table in the bottom of the main page. This allows members to know who to PM for assistance; it also means that a few staff appear as invisible to avoid this. Moderators appear as blue, and administrators are yellow. On a rare occasion R* technical support guys drop by and their name appear in orange.|
|An Annual Award is held at the Announcements forum. The whole GTANet community nominates members for different categories. The top three are chosen and aterwards voted for. Member who gets the most votes wins GTANet Annual Forum Award(s). Annual awards are usually held at the end of each calendar year. There are also GTANet Contribution Award, Helpfulness Award, Major Contribution/Achievement Award and Provocative Discussion Award, which are given for exactly what they are named after.|
GTANet Contribution Award
Major Contribution/Achievement Award
Provocative Discussion Award
Those awards go into member's Awards section in their profile. When that member posts, under their name/avatar a single medal is visible. The medal colour goes from grey (1-3 awards) to blue (4-5 awards) and then to red (6+ awards). The colour of the medal determined by the amount of awards is held by a particular member.
|As you may have realised, some people (including me) belong to different groups other than 'Members'. This is because we belong to official gangs, social groups remaining from what was known as the OGA (Official Gang Alliance) and PGC (Public Gang Chat).|
Before the release of the GTAIV trailer, there was a very large and incredibly active part of the forum called the PGC where new gangs were created with the hopes of being made official. Because it was such a drain on network resources (topics reaching 1000 replies in days) and was acting more like an IRC channel, it was taken down and replaced with just that, an IRC Channel. It can be accessed via IRC Software or using the Java Applet supplied by GTANet here.
The official gangs still exist, and it is still possible to join them. Although it isn't as public as before (there used to be a Recruitment forum as well). If you want to join an official gang, you need to submit an application to the gang leader or a designated Recruitment Officer. The old guide used to contain a large guide on how to join gangs, however their importance and prominence has diminished somewhat (now referred to as 'Groups', but we still have our own private forums and the OGA still exists).
The process for accepting new members (mostly) is that the application letter is posted in the private forum (another reason not to type like a tard) and then members of the group post what they know/feel about the member and a yes or no vote. Democratically, if most of the members want the new member, they are in. In order to get into an official you need to be a member for some time and prove yourself to be a valued addition to the community.
Since it's only serves the purpose of an on-line clan play, it's a lot easier for a new member to be accepted into one of the unofficial gangs in here. There's also a very helpful Looking For A Gang? guide, which can assist members with their gang application.
Everyone in group BUSTED! are banned members.
|A list of all member's warnings and/or commendations. Your log only visible to you and forum's staff. It can't be changed or deleted.|
|This is a bit of text below your name/avatar. When left as default, it will change after you reach a certain amount of posts. Simply put it's a post count. Most of the titles are identical to San Andreas' criminal rating.|
Crackhead / 50
Square Civilian / 75
Rat / 100
Snitch / 150
Punk-ass Bitch / 200
Mark Chump / 250
Trick / 300
Peon / 350
Prankster / 400
Street Cat / 450
Thug / 500
Hustler / 600
Playa / 700
Mack Pimp / 800
Homeboy / 900
Homie / 1000
Li'l G Loc / 1200
Foot Soldier / 1400
Soldier / 1600
Gangsta / 2000
Ghetto Star / 3000
Big Homie / 3500
Boss / 5000
OG / 7500
High Roller / 10000
General / 12000
Godfather / 16000
King of San Andreas / 25000
Spammer / 30000
Spammaster / 50000
If you're not happy with default title, you can change it to something else but within the forums rules.
|GTA Forums Yellow Pages: This is a one stop shop for the main things that are part of the GTA Network.|
The Forum Directory!: This is the place you go to, to locate each and every important/interesting/worthy topic created here at our forums, or, as previously stated, the one-stop shop.
Tricks of the Trade: A collection of all BB Codes currently available on GTAF.
The User Control Panel For Dummies: The definitive guide to your UCP.
GTANetwork Team Forum: This is where you go to post about issues on the board (not to be confused with Suggestions) concerning PM spammers, name change requests, querying why topics were locked, why you were warned, etc.
|Also, don't be afraid to send PMs if you have an issue. I know people like me love to get PMs. Just click on the envelope image under a person's post.|
Remember that there's no democracy on this forums. When you register you're given a privilege to be a member and expected to follow the rules and behave in a certain manner. Otherwise, if you'll persist to be a f*ckhead, you'll be treated as one and most likely will be banned.
Members who have been here for a long time have seen and dealt with a lot of new members, and as a result of that you have to be incredibly polite to be given the time of day. If you are polite, you will be treated politely in return. Everyone is here by their own free will and (besides staff) are not obliged to help, so don't be discouraged or aggressive when you believe you are treated badly, resilience is a virtue in this environment.
|Big thanks for Jay's Version 4.0!|
Edited by CCPD, 22 November 2010 - 12:30 AM.