This article will walk you through writing and editing articles on MetaBattle. Any registered user is able to create a new builds, fix any current builds, or vote on existing builds throughout the site.
If you're a pro that likes condensed guides, here is the bullet point version that takes only about 30 seconds to read through.
- Create an account. Start here!
- Add an email address (in case you want to reset your password) in "Preferences > User Profile".
At the top of every page on the far right is your personal navigation:
- Your User page is the "front-page" of your account. Other users cannot edit this page.
- Your Talk page is the "comments" section for your account. When someone wants to get in touch with you, they can edit it and you'll get a banner at the top of the screen saying you have a new message. (You should have one right now telling you how to "verify" your account!)
- The link to your User page is red. That's because it's blank and hasn't been created yet. (You'll notice this theme throughout the wiki.) Don't worry, we'll get to creating pages later.
- You can change your time zone under Preferences > Appearance.
- The Watchlist has your "bookmarked" articles. Usually anything you edit or create will automatically go here.
- The Contributions link will show all the changes you've done to the wiki.
Creating an article
Let's make our first article (be sure your first edit does not contain any links to external websites or you'll be banned by our spam filter!). Click on your User page. Once it loads, note the default message. It's saying the page basically doesn't exist for now. However, you can create it by clicking the link in the message or near your personal navigation there will be a tab called "Create". Click that.
Note! To create pages, the first step is to access that location in the address bar. If that place doesn't exist, you will be given the option to create it.
Note! Using a link in your first edit will get you insta-banned!
Clicking "create" will take you to a text editor. Everything's blank right now, but go ahead and type some details about yourself.
When you're finished, click on "Show preview" at the bottom. This creates a temporary version of what's inside the text-editor at the top of the page. The text-editor is still below, though you may have to scroll down to see it.
Typing in the text editor can be a bit like typing in reddit code. This is how we type links:
[link text to show]
Seems pretty easy, doesn't it? External links are usually much easier to type in MetaBattle than they are in reddit. However, for internal links (those contained inside metabattle.com) we usually use a different method for typing links as so:
[[short-link | text to show]]
In this case, a short-link is all the text after "metabattle.com/wiki" or "metabattle.com/wiki/index.php?title=" in the address bar. If we were to create a link to this article, how would we type it? (Hint: Look at your address bar.) As such:
[[MetaBattle:Tutorial | A tutorial to writing and editing in MetaBattle]]
And that's just the beginning. There are many ways to modify text in the editor. Definitely check out this article to see how you can use italics, headers, list items, images, and tables.
Once you're ready, click "Save page" and refresh this article. You'll note that all the links to your user page are blue now. Now you know how to create articles. Editing them is just the next step.
Editing an article
When you're browsing the site, there are generally two types of articles you'll encounter. The article page and the discussion page. They are at the top of all pages on the left hand side. Based on this, there are usually two reasons to be editing: To change the actual page that people see or to ask questions, comments, or notes in the discussion page. Often times the discussion page already exists, but if not you can always create one based on what you've learned so far.
Note! When editing discussion pages, it's customary to indent your posts with the ":" character. Each colon will indent a step. If you're replying to someone, it is the common practice to indent one extra. At the end of each "comment" that you edit, remember to sign your name with "~~~~" (four tildes) so people know who you are and when you posted it.
Let's try editing your user page. Click on it, then click on "Edit" where it used to say "Create". The same editor box appears but with the information that's been typed into it. You can make any edits here and save them. Before you finish, it's always a good idea to preview what changes you've made and it's sometimes even more important to write in the reason why you made those edits in the "Summary" input. When you make small changes to grammar or correct some links then you can mark the change as "minor". Go ahead and do that.
Now that you've edited the page, what do you need to know? Learning about the history of a page or the recent change on the wiki. Click here to see the recent changes made to the wiki. You can find this link on the left side below "Main page" and "Community portal".
In the long list of changes, you'll see your edit on the top. Note the time, the "diff | hist" and the numbers in green and red as well as the user that did it and the summary that may follow on why that change was done.
Try clicking "diff" on the line that shows your recent change. You'll see that it shows the old version on the left side, changes highlighted in yellow. And the new version on the right, with the new changes highlighted in blue.
Alright, we now know how to read, write, and edit articles on the wiki. What's left?
Putting it all together
It's a good idea to get accustomed to reading the markup language in edit boxes. Reading them and comparing them with other articles will give you an idea of what elements are creating what aspects. Some of it is automatic and may seem magical, but otherwise it's usually pretty straight forward.
Wikis usually work heavily based on the details provided in this article. Most other things will be based on what you've learned here, but they won't emphasize the use of tables and templates.
At MetaBattle, we will try our best to write simple templates for our users and we will try our best to stay away from long, messy, tables that are difficult to edit. However, we cannot always guarantee this, so we recommend you read up on them here and here when confronted.
If you didn't understand those two articles, that's okay. They're usually the more advanced sections anyways. You should be able to make a lot of changes without understanding them too deeply, because there's an article that will teach you how to use the important templates on MetaBattle.
Lastly, check out the Community portal on the left. The discussion tab is usually where a lot of the site discussion happens regarding over-arching policies, formats, ideas, etc. Peruse or join in if you have any thoughts!
Now it's time to look at our formatting guide. This will teach you what each build article should look like and how you can start on creating your own :) Good luck!