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 New User Guide - A guide to features, settings and general use of Black Dahlia

Discussion in 'General Information & FAQ' started by Iniquity, Jan 8, 2019.

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  1. Iniquity

    Iniquity Vagabond. Moderator

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    Hi everyone!

    When you're on a new site it can be so confusing to find your way around. This guide is to help you do just that! Hopefully, I can show some features you may not know were around, or ones you didn't know how to use. Please do let me know if you found something difficult to figure out so I can add it below. P.s. I’m using the Flat Awesome Dark theme to do this guide, but the settings will be the same. Thank you to anyone who reads and uses this guide! I put some time and effort into this hoping it would help some of you navigate around, and find some features you didn’t know were here.



    • Rules:

      Before you get started with introductions and getting to know the BD residents, you should make sure you've checked out the rules! You can find the rules here. There are different rules, so please be sure to check them all! This will help with finding an avatar and images for other features mentioned later in the guide. It should also be mentioned here that we also have a general information section that covers important issues such as age verification and where we stand on it, donation information and other essential bits. You can find them here.



      Introduce yourself:

      When you've checked out the rules and you're up for meeting the community, you should post an introduction here. If you're one of those people who struggle with what to add, think about adding some roleplay preferences and experience. A fun idea for introductions is adding something about you, something to make it special and unique.

    • Avatar / Icon:

      Keep in mind your picture should be in line with the rules.

      To change your picture, you can simply click on the picture on the main page. It’ll just pop open an information tab, then you can click on it again or the profile link. From your profile page, you can click on your picture and change it from there. You can also change it from the drop down menu by your name, then going to personal details and you can select it from that menu.

      You don’t have to worry about resizing the images, which is awesome! It will resize it for you. On the forum it’ll appear as a square, but on your profile page it’ll show more of the image. Do keep that in mind!
      [​IMG]



      Personal Information:

      I’m sure once you join a site like this it can be so overwhelming with things to create, a way to get your roleplaying preferences out so you can begin. A nice way to add a bit about you and your preferences is on your profile! You can do this by finding the personal details link if you hover over your name. In there are a LOT of options here. If you scroll down you’ll see ‘About you’, this is where you should add anything you desire, just don’t forget the rules! You’ll also notice the kink preferences and other useful options to add your preferences.



      Custom title:

      You will notice there’s a slot for ‘custom title’, this will display on the left hand side when you post. It’ll just be under your username. It’s a pretty nifty feature!
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      Default editor:

      There’s even a default editor setting you can add! So when you go to type something new, say a new post or something like that, it’ll save your settings so you don’t have to keep adding the same formatting. Not all the options from the editor are still there, but it’s still nice!
      [​IMG]



      Status messages:

      Status messages… If you haven’t been on a forum like BD before, you’ll notice on the right-hand side of the forum on the toolbar, there are messages from members. You can update yours in your personal details or on the actual home page above the other messages. A lot of members use these as a way of chatting, sharing opinions and whatnot. Keep in mind, people can like/comment on what you post. Don’t forget the rules when posting!



      Privacy - Online status:

      Privacy is important, and having options to give you as much privacy as you want is pretty damn nice! I have been on a few sites and this software on BD is amazing, we have the option to hide our online status if we choose. We also can edit our online status to not show what we’re doing, which page we’re viewing and such. It defaults to show exactly what you’re looking at. I find it nice to be able to remove that option. You can do so by hovering on your name at the top right and clicking preferences. There are a few options on this menu, but you’ll notice it has two for online status. One is to show your online activity (this is the one that’ll show what you last clicked to) and there’s one just to show your online status. If you’d prefer a short route, you can just hover over your name and right at the bottom of the options, you’ll see a check button. You can simply change it there, but you won’t have the option to change your activity settings.
      [​IMG]



      Privacy - Birthdate:

      Another important thing to note about privacy here on BD is that you can HIDE your birthdate. It’s completely up to you if you share it or not. You can do this by hovering over your name, and going down to personal details. In there, you can select which part of your birth date you show. It can be day and month or year as well. This is a great feature because you can still show your birthday, but not your age.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]



      Privacy - Overview:

      There is a handy tab for privacy, where you can find the settings I mentioned and more such as who can see your profile, news feed, and who can message you. You can find these settings by hovering over your name and going into your personal details. On the left-hand side, you’ll see you can go down to privacy, it’s under the settings tab.



      Profile cover/banner:

      You may have noticed that some members have an image going across the top of their profile beside their avatar. This is a feature everyone can use! The term for this is a profile cover. There are two ways to change/add this. You can either go to your profile by clicking on your name and hovering over the space where the image will go, it’ll have a little pop up that will give you a few options. You can also hover over your name, then drop down to profile cover. The latter is a nice option if you don’t want your profile showing for whatever reason. Thanks to a lovely member of staff I’ve been told that the profile cover size should be about 1000 x 300 pixels. You can also reposition the image, so don’t worry too much on that!
      [​IMG]



      Profile background:

      The other day I noticed on a profile that there was a huge background image, and I was in complete awe. I hadn’t even realized it was a feature! It’s a nifty thing really, you can give a bit of yourself to your profile appearance in a way that cover pictures and avatars can’t. It’s like your own little world! You can add/change it by hovering over your name in the top right, and along the drop down menu you’ll see ‘profile background’. It’ll pop up a small window where you can add an image. You can also find this option just by going into personal details on that menu then on the left finding profile background under settings. Thanks to a staff member I’ve been informed of this size too. You’ll want roughly 1920x1080 or 1440x990, basically going larger may be better as it’ll cover more monitors, as opposed to stretching if it’s smaller.



      Themes:

      There are quite a few themes to find here on BD. You can take a look at them by hovering over your name and then going down to preferences. The window that pops up will have the themes at the very top, from there you can select them from the drop-down menu. The site may be removing/adding new themes from time to time but they do announce this. Just something to keep in mind! They may also change the width of the forum, and how settings look, but the settings should still be in the same place.
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

    • Thread emails:

      If you’d like to find a way to automatically watch a thread (meaning that you get alerts when there’s a reply, it’ll show up on the top right of your page) and receive emails when you create a thread or when you reply, you can do that! Or, of course, you can turn it off if you’d rather select it individually (you can do this when you post the thread itself or when you post a reply, it’ll be two tick options at the bottom - for posts it only shows up when you go to ‘more options’ on the quick edit option). You can also do this by selecting the drop-down menu when hovering over your username and going into 'preferences'.
      [​IMG][​IMG]



      Message emails:

      There are also settings to receive site information, emails when you get conversations (PMs) on the site, and for permissions when it comes to who can PM you on BD. You can find these settings in your contact details. You can find that from hovering over your name and dropping down. They’re pretty neat settings if you ask me, especially if you’d prefer to restrict what emails you get, as well as keeping yourself private, which you’re entitled to do. You can also change your email here!
      [​IMG]

    • [​IMG]
      Sending a message:

      Now you may be like… Where the hell are the personal messages? On BD, they’re called ‘conversations’ - which seems less intimidating if you ask me. You can simply find the little mail icon on the top right, (I’m hoping with your theme it’ll be the same placement), and it’ll give you a preview of the messages you have received/posted in recently. You’ll see two little links at the bottom with ‘show all’ and ‘start a new conversation’. You can start a conversation by just clicking there or going into your inbox and then hitting the big button. The handy thing about this conversation system is that you can simply go into a new conversation and start typing the name of the user you wish to message out. Then it’ll pop up a little window, so you can make sure the person you’re messaging is, in fact, the one you intend. It’ll show the avatar, so you can see who it is. If you want an easier way, you can simply click on someone’s name and from the little pop-up window you can hit ‘start a conversation’ and it’ll pop up a window with your new conversation ready for you to write. You can also send a group PM by simply adding another person to the participants' box. As it says on the page, you just separate them with a comma.



      Participant groups:

      So what if you have a group that you want to keep adding into PMs? If you want to have a set group you can just add instead of going through and adding each person every time, you can create a group for this! You can find this in two places (that I’ve found so far). When you go into your conversations or even into a new one, you can see the bar above the message will have a few links that I will explain further on, but participant groups will be there. You’ll see that it works like sending a message, you just add the members by listing them (split each with a comma - this will automatically be put in if you click the user that pops up) then you can add the group. Once it’s created, you will have options to edit, delete and send a message. I think this saves a lot of time if you have a group that loves to chat OOC.
      [​IMG]



      Conversation filters:

      What exactly are conversation filters? If you go into your inbox, you should see a few options toward the top of the page, one of them will be filters. You’ll see there’s a large range of criteria you can add to a filter. So for example, you could set up an RP filter - by adding a phrase of the title. Then once that is done, you can view your PMs by filter by clicking on the ‘filtered’ button, right beside the inbox button. There are endless possibilities with the number of criteria listed. You can also move conversations into the filtered tab by simply selecting on a conversation (the tick box), then going down to ‘move conversation’.



      Conversation Auto Response:

      As you'll see with the conversation settings, there is an option for auto response. This is AWESOME! You can exclude people you follow if you wish. It's a nice idea in case you're on holiday or you're on hiatus, you can set a message that will respond to anyone that messages you. Like an out of office email. An excellent feature that can clear up the confusion!



      Conversation prefixes:

      These are just wonderful! I know you’ll be seeing them around the forum, and later on in this guide. You can use prefixes to filter conversations and threads. This can be handy with separating RP from OOC in your inbox, and for a lot of other things, I’m sure. All you have to do is go into your conversations, then find a few links above the conversations, they will list filters, prefixes and whatnot. Once you’re in the prefix menu, you can see you can just click to add a new one! It’s simple and easy to do. If you want to order them, all you need to do is put the first as 1 - the rest go up, i.e. 1, 2, 3. To add a prefix, all you need to do is click on the tickbox beside a conversation and then ‘set conversation prefix’. As you’ll notice, you can only add one. If you want to remove the prefix, it works the same way. You just select ‘no prefix’. Once you’ve done that, you can also filter them via prefix in your inbox. You’ll see on your inbox page that there are two places where ‘conversation display options’, but only the one at the bottom of your conversations has the prefix option. There, you can select a prefix from your list and that’s it.



      Stick:

      You’ll notice there’s also an option to ‘stick’ conversations when you select a message. Stick works the same as pinning something, this means that it’ll remain on top of the inbox, even if new messages come in. This is also a nice way to separate messages and make it easier to keep track. You can also just ‘unstick’ in the same way.



      Star:

      Starring a conversation just gives it a cute little star, for flat awesome dark, it’s on the right. It won’t pin the conversations like ‘sticking’ will, but it does still mark the conversation somehow. I suppose you could also use this feature also to filter/mark conversations in your own way.



      Leaving conversations:

      Leaving a conversation is easy! You can do it in a specific message. When you enter into the conversation, along in the top of the first message you’ll see a few options. You can just hit leave conversation and you’ll have two options. As you’ll see, you can prevent it being replied to once you leave. This is good if things get too heated, or if you just don’t want to be in that conversation any longer. You can also leave a mass amount of conversations, (I do this to clean up my inbox from time to time) by selecting the messages on a tick box and using the drop-down menu.



      Copy to thread:

      An awesome feature is copying to a thread. You can see it when you enter a conversation at the top right. Why would you want to do this? Well, if you started a roleplay but wanted to move it to a thread it can easily be done. However, if you want to export and save the conversations, you can copy it to a thread first and then export a thread. You can do it by the top right-hand side of the thread just under ‘thread tools’.


    • Where to roleplay:

      All roleplays take place in roleplay execution or in open roleplays. Roleplay execution is the main place, you can find it here. Open roleplays are for random responses to a thread, there’s no agreed partners or group. You can find that here.



      Searching:

      There are a few different places to post search threads on BD, to a new user it may seem confusing. When you select an area you’ll see a description under the name, explaining just what belongs in that forum. To make it easy, if you’re looking to play female roles, post your thread here, and if you’re looking to play male roles here. There is also an option for non-binary/non-gender and for if you’re open to both roles here. There is also a section for group roleplays and for fandoms specifically. They are located here and here.



      Where to post resources:

      Once you get started with roleplaying, you may want to know where to post some information on your roleplays. There are several places you can put your own information on BD. For characters, BD has a specific forum for it here. There is also one for information on your own worlds which could come handy to keep information for plots, group roleplays etc. You can find it here. You could post information in an OOC thread, which can be found here. When you create an RP thread, you’ll see there is a way to add tabs. You can add information to that tab, which is handy if you want to keep it with your roleplay and not have to go somewhere else to get it. Only when you create a thread can you add a tab, keep that in mind! The last place I know of right now are journals. It’s your own space on BD to add whatever you wish! You can find them here. You can even add a posting schedule, inspiration, writing samples; whatever you desire.


    • Medals:

      Here on BD we have medals! They are awarded by staff, who are definitely lurking around. The more active you are, the better! There’s a wide range of medals you can earn and you can find them here you can find out how to win those medals in a guide here. You can organise your medals in an order that you want. You can do this by going onto your profile. You’ll see your ‘awarded medals’ section, you can simply click on the number by awarded medals when the popup shows you can see that you can see ‘organize’ medals. In that tab, you’ll see a range of options.
      [​IMG][​IMG]


      Trophy Points:

      These are not to be confused with medals. These points are given automatically due to set requirements. As you post, like comments, get likes, and generally are active around the forum, you’ll be getting some trophy points! When you get a trophy, you’ll have an alert pop up.



      Code:

      We have some BB code on BD, and there is a guide here that can help you understand code more. You can also see a list of the code we currently have here. Don’t forget to ask if you need any help!



      Moods:

      You’ll notice that there are moods here. They’re right near your avatar. All you have to do to change one is select it and a window will pop open with many options to pick from.



      Banners:

      Banners are seen on posts around the forum. You’ll see various ones for Admins, Moderators, and Community Helpers. You’ll also notice the banners colour is also the same as the forum names. Purple are admins, moderators are blue, and community helpers are green. Community helpers are here just to help the community with various things, such as guides like this one. They are not staff, and shouldn’t be treated as such. If you have any problems, you should go to staff.



      Official Discord Servers:

      BD as official discord servers! One for OOC / general use and one for roleplaying use. You can find them both listed here.



      Post saving:

      A true life-saving feature on BD is that your posts are saved as drafts when you write. Anywhere that you write, it’ll save as you work. Some lovely staff took the time to check and let me know that it’s saved for 90 hours, that’s after the last edit. Of course, don’t forget to save a backup just in case!



      Like Button / Post ratings:

      When you look at posts in the forum, you’ll notice a range of ratings you can give to posts. There’s a neat, simple range of awesome ratings you can give to your partners and other people around the forum. You can also ‘like’ messages in conversations, and profile posts/status updates.
      [​IMG]


      Sharing artwork & writing:

      You can share your personal works here on BD here and here.



      Bookmarks:

      An awesome feature here on BD is that you can bookmark threads! You don’t have to ‘watch’ them. You can simply add them to bookmarks and have your own personal list of threads that are helpful to you, or ones you’d simply like to refer back to without having to go find it. You can select to bookmark when you go into a thread, the end of each post will have a ‘bookmark’ link on it. When you select it, you will see a range of options. You can sticky bookmarks, meaning they’ll remain on top. You can even title them and tag them so you can organise them as you please. Each option is explained, so feel free to play around with them.
      [​IMG][​IMG]


      Following / Ignoring:

      There are a few great features relating to member interaction here. When you click on a members name it’ll bring up a small window with several options.
      [​IMG]
      You can follow a member which means you’ll see them online on the ‘members online’ tab on the right-hand side. You will also be able to see their interactions on your newsfeed. You’ll also see that you can ignore a member. If you have altercations with someone you can just ignore them. It’s better that you ignore someone over causing any drama.



      Notepad:

      There is a notepad on BD. Your own personal place to list/scribble. You can do this by click on ‘edit notepad’ on the front page, just under your avatar. You can also find it by going into your personal details and finding it on the last option under settings.



      Journals:

      Already mentioned in this guide, but in case you didn’t see that, here they are! Journals are a place for you to note down anything you’d like. It can be post schedules, random information, rough plans. It all depends on what you want. You can find them here.



      Prefixes:

      Prefixes can be found all over the forum. They are used to hint the contents to the thread. It’s a fantastic feature when you throw up a search, you can specify what kind of pairing you’re looking fand/or or the theme. You can add them when you create the thread, or you can edit the thread in the first post and add them / change them after. I should mention that there are issues with the awesome dark theme regarding the prefixes. This could be the case with other themes. If you’re curious about prefixes in private conversations, please read up in the guide, it’s listed!



      Export thread:

      If you want to save your roleplay you can do so! An easy way here on BD is to just export a thread. You can do so by going into your thread and then on the first post, thread tools and ‘export’.
      [​IMG]


      Events:

      Here on BD we have some events! They’re pretty neat. You should check them out here.


    • Site Navigation links:

      Guide section
      Games & General discussion
      Bug reports
      Questions & Suggestions
      Announcements
      Partner Guide
      Improved Writing Guide
      Workshop (for feedback)



     
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