OK, I've noticed quite a few people around here asking questions about areas of the site and trying to find their way around, well, more like fumbling around and trying to find the right direction to become useful members of the ComicVine society...
So, to that end, i'm going to start ComicVine 101... This thread will be dealing with the battles area of the forums, so please keep any questions / comments regarding other areas of the forums to their specific threads.
COMIC VINE 101 - BATTLE FORUMS
Ok, this tutorial will be split up into three sections.
1. Creating Battle Threads
2. Replying to Battle Threads
3. Discussing Battle's Effectively
Part 1: Creating Battle Threads
Ok, creating an effective battle thread isn’t as easy as it first appears. Your first stop upon thinking of a battle thread that would be amusing to discuss should be the search icon at the top of the forum. Type in the two characters names you want to battle and search to see if the thread has been done already.
This is a major thing, there are so many duplicate threads out there that it makes finding a good one with various educated discussions inside quite difficult to find. Also mods / staff may lock duplicate threads, so if you want your thread to survive, make sure it’s unique.
So you’ve found two characters that haven’t battled before on the site. Firstly congratulations, that alone is a feat in itself. One way to help you find good characters that haven’t battled before is to use obscure characters. We’ve all seen Superman Vs Hulk, Batman Vs Captain America or Green Lantern Vs Silver Surfer. We’ve seen the characters, we know their capabilities and basically, seeing the threads again is utterly boring.
So use unique characters, not everyone out there knows characters like Fairchild, Evil Ernie, Magog, Tommy Monaghan, Cyblade or Jesse Custer. Use characters that would be interesting in a battle and try and bring new characters into the spotlight. If you think “insert name here” is a cool character but haven’t seen them in any battles, it shows to form that people aren’t really up on their knowledge of that character, so using them in a battle forum is a good way to raise awareness of the character.
Another majorly important thing is to not make a spite thread. Lois Lane Vs Galactus is not a good thread. It’s basically a spite thread where one side of the battle is so far outside of the other side that it borders on ridiculous. These will be deleted on sight, so actually think about the battle before you post it. Ask yourself these questions.
1. Is it going to be an interesting thread?
2. Is it going to spark good conversation?
3. Is it going to actually be an enjoyable thread to read and discuss?
If the answer is yes to those, then you have found your thread.
Ok, so you’ve found two characters that are going to make an interesting battle, whether it’s street level characters like Batman and Spiderman, or cosmic beings like Green Lantern or Silver Surfer. All the battles are welcome here. One hint i would give though is to stay away from the really high level characters. No one is going to want to debate The One Above All Vs The Presence... believe me, we’ve had the thread before and it basically turned into one big headache.
When it comes to posting your thread, there are three things you want to keep in mind.
All three of these things are important in any battle thread and should be included in the first post of any battle thread topic. The characters is pretty obvious, if you want to battle Nightwing and Gambit, then those are the two characters you need to post. I’d also recommend posting a link to the two character pages involved, so those people who don’t know the characters can automatically go to the correct page and find the information needed to enjoy the thread.
Location. Ok, pretty important in some threads and of medium importance in others. If you’re fighting Nightwing and Gambit, then the location is going to be pretty important. Whether the battle is located in downtown Gotham City or on a rooftop in central New York. These are the details that make a battle thread, if you include details like this, then it will stop confusion later on and allow people to enjoy the thread to it’s fullest.
Equipment. Very important for most characters, if you’re fighting Buffy and Nightwing, what is Buffy equipped with? Her usual stake and crossbow, or is she packing the Slayer Scythe or the Troll Hammer? Anything like this could turn the tide of a battle so it’s important to clear all these details up on the first post.
Part 2: Replying to Battle Threads
Research, research, research.
Basically, research is king when it comes to replying to battle threads. Use your brain, if you are posting a comment that “Buffy would kill Nightwing”, then you’d better be prepared to back it up with some solid evidence.
Do your research, scan in informative pages that show the feats of the character you are supporting. Do you have specific proof that Buffy’s reaction speed and agility is way above human normal levels, if not, then someone is probably going to ask for it, so i’d recommend hunting down some proof and get ready to back your argument up.
Basically, proof is everything. You’re going to have to back up everything you say in a battle thread, so do your research. Find out everything you can about the character, strengths, feats, weaknesses. Everything.
If you think you know everything about the character you’re supporting, then it’s a damn good bet that someone else will know everything about the other character in the battle thread. See what you can find out about the opposing character, do your research on the opponent as well, can your character use their strengths against the opposing characters weaknesses? This sort of information will stand you in good stead in the battle thread and will become invaluable as the battle goes on.
So you’ve done your research, you know which character you are supporting and have your thoughts on how the battle would end. So post it, use your brain though. Don’t just post one sided thoughts, be open, don’t basically dismiss the other character or anything other posters say in reply to your posts. Reply to them, engage in conversation about the characters and the battle, make the battle thread a friendly place to be and welcome in new views to the thread and discuss them, even if they don’t fit with your viewpoint.
Fanboyism. Basically don’t, just don’t. We’ve all seen it before, people that post arguments for their favourite characters regardless of anything that has been posted before, no matter what proof or arguments are posted.
It’s a surefire way to get into arguments, we’d all like to think that our favourite character, whoever they are, is unbeatable. But going into a battle thread with an attitude like that is an easy way to get ignored and have the veterans of the site ignore you, and all posts / threads you make, on sight.
Part 3: Discussing Battle's Effectively
So, you’ve seen the veterans of the site discussing battles in depth, going deep into the characters powers, histories and motivations. This is something that comes with experience, time and knowledge.
Discussing a battle thread effectively basically comes down to three things again.
2. Willingness to listen
3. Arguing your point effectively
So you’ve done your research on the characters involved in the battle, that’s half of the battle won already. Now you just have to convince others of your viewpoint and bring them over to your side. Bear in mind though, this is a two way street. No one is going to listen to your arguments if you’re not willing to listen to other peoples.
Be polite, if someone has posted something that you disagree with; hunt down proof that they are mistaken. Go through what they are saying piece by piece and use your research to post proof of your viewpoint and opinion to disprove what they are saying, and above all, just try and keep the battle civil.
If you go into a battle thread guns blazing and shouting “Storm Pwnz All!!!!111!!!11!!11!!1” then you are just going to be ignored by basically everyone and have lost any chance you had of bringing your viewpoint into the thread and being listened to.
If you’re joining into an already established battle thread, read through it first. Find out who is arguing for what character and pick up on what they have said before. It maybe that someone in the thread has already posted information that you were going to post, or they may have information about the character that you are lacking at this time. Again, it comes down to research, read through the thread, read the arguments on both sides before posting, this way when you do post, you will have a fresh argument to implement and a new viewpoint for people to look at the battle from.
Creating a new thread means that 90% of the time, you’ve already made up your mind about who you think would win. If you have, then wait until someone posts a viable argument about the opposition, whether it is a good argument or not, listen to the argument and then post your response using the research you prepared earlier.
Above all, when it comes to battle threads, be respectful of other people and their opinions. It may be that their opinion differs to your own, but that doesn’t mean that their viewpoint is invalid. Listen to it, the whole point of the battle thread is to discuss the fight involving the two characters and argue your viewpoint to the other members of the forum. This, however, does not give you an open range to attack and dismiss other forum members, be polite, discuss the battle with an open mind and don’t be afraid to admit if you are wrong.
If you’ve posted something that someone else has managed to debunk, go back, research that particular feat and think about the battle from a new angle. Just because one of your posts has been proved incorrect, it doesn’t mean that your next one will be. The fact that someone has gone out of their way to talk about your post and look into the evidence means that you are doing a good job of getting people involved in the battle thread and are well on your way to becoming a respected member of the battle forums.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if you’re chosen character wins or loses the thread. The argument and discussions involved in the thread are the main ideals behind the thread in the first place. Finding out more about the characters, discussing your favourite characters and their feats, bringing characters into the spotlight and enjoying discussing the characters with likeminded fans out there.
Above all, enjoy yourself. This is what the forums are here for in the end. If you go into battle threads prepared and ready to enjoy the discussion with an open mind, then you will not only enjoy it, but you will have engaged other users in the discussion which they will have enjoyed as well, and that is the cornerstone of the battle forum.M