Debating Tips: Past & Present

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Welcome to the Battle Forums

Hello, and welcome to the Battle Forums:

This is quite possibly my favorite location on Comicvine, and I'm sure there are plenty of users who feel the same way. You might be here for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • You want to engage in a battle of words and wits regarding your favorite comic book characters against your fellow users.
  • You've come to create battles that you've only dreamed of between the fierce and the fictional, heroes fighting heroes, villains fighting villains, and everything in between.
  • You were trying to click 'Off-Topic' or 'RPG' but you accidentally hit Battles.

If you're here on accident, I hope you find where you were trying to go; however, if you're hoping to stay and participate within these forums then you might want to give this blog a quick read through, it might help you ease into everything more comfortably than jumping head first into what many users consider to be a war zone.

There's also one big reminder that I think we all need from time to time. Higorm told this to myself and a few others and I believe it needs to be stated here:

New viners should have in mind that they must see the Comic Vine as a privilege, not a right. They should feel grateful to have free access to this rich comic community.

This site is a vast database filled with tons of comic knowledge, the fact that we don't have to pay for this service is amazing and we should all be thankful.

Lastly, I'd like to thank the users who assisted me and gave their own input/advice for the battles forums. This is a compilation of many opinions from a wide variety of users (new and old) who each look at everything with a different perspective. All of the information presented here isn't telling you that you NEED to do these things, just some personal experience from myself and other users.

You're all awesome; now onward, into the Art of War!

Table of Contents

Not everyone is going to need to read every piece of this so I've separated everything into various sections. Feel free to message me or comment in this thread if you feel like a section should be added or updated.

Here are the various topics:

  1. The Rules | Battle Forum 101
  2. Battle Forums Related Topics // Useful Links
  3. The Moderators
  4. Debate Etiquette
    1. Respect
    2. Open Mind vs Closed Mind
    3. Competition // Competitive Mindset
    4. Humor
    5. Grammar
    6. Callouts // Voting & Debating
    7. Recent Comics // Avoiding Spoilers
  5. Debate Points
    1. Team Building // CAV & Tournament Style
  6. Formatting
    1. The Formatting Tools // Overview
    2. The Quote Tool
    3. The Image Tool
    4. Creating a Thread // The OP
    5. Creating an Introduction
    6. Creating a Counter Argument
    7. Creation a Closing Argument
  7. Scans
  8. Bias // How to Cope
  9. Research
  10. The Majority // One Word Answers

Now, to the Battles!

1.0 The Rules | Battle Forum 101

If you look at the battle forums there are two topics in which you should read even before you run through this listing of advice and whatnot, I'll link these threads here for you:

Battle Forum Rules 2.0 | Written by Saren

The Battles Bible | Written by K4tzm4n

There are plenty of things that these two users address within those threads, and its mandatory reading when entering the Battles Forum. I don't know how many times I've seen users ask a question or break a rule or claim they didn't know a certain rule existed even though it was outlined in either one or both of these threads.

So please, go do everyone a favor (including yourself) and give those rules a read!

Now that you've read those two lovely topics (you did read them, right?) we can continue on to our next topic of discussion, the moderators!

2.0 Battle Forums Related Topics | Useful Links

In my attempt to create a guide to the Battle Forums I feel as it is useful to include a variety of guides/topics that were made that also contain useful information.

Credit for these topics go to their creators; thank you for putting as much work into your topics as you have.

2.1 Debaters Hall of Fame

The Debaters Hall of Fame (often referred to as the HOF) is for the sole purpose of recognizing the values that we wish to see more of on these forums. This is your chance to vote for those whom you feel work hardest to make the battles forum the best it could be.

Voting is done for a select period of time each year to my knowledge, and it is typically held by various users here on the site.

The DHOF can be found [ HERE ]

2.2 Debaters Rating Thread

The Debaters Rating Thread was a thread created so that users can give and receive constructive criticism regarding debating. This thread is excelent for reviewing your progress as a debater as it gives you the chance to receive specific feedback as opposed to the general tips/tricks/advice you'll see in this thread.

The Debaters Rating Thread can be found [ HERE ]

2.3 Challenge a Viner Thread

The CAV or Challenge A Viner Thread is dedicated to creating matches between yourself and another/other user(s).

These threads are unlike the common threads you'll see around the Battles Forum as they have specific rules set by the participants, and the only users who are allowed to make a case for the characters involved are those who are participating.

Once the CAV has ended it will be opened up to public voting in which any user (unless the OP states otherwise) is able to vote for whoever they thought made the better debate.

The CAV Thread can be found [ HERE ]

2.4 Guide to Tournament Building

Tournaments are a very popular aspect of the Battles Forum (my favorite part personally) and pop up in a variety of forms. This thread provides a very useful guide for creating your very own tournaments; it also may inspire you to create a new unique type of tournament that we haven't seen before.

The Guide to Tournament Building can be found [ HERE ]

2.5 The Battle Dictionary

Here on the Battles Forums there is a specific terminology that isn't used on other areas of the site. This can be confusing at first; however, if you'd like to get a glimpse of what some of these abbreviations/terms mean then check out the Battle Dictionary.

The Battle Dictionary can be found [ HERE ]

3.0 The Moderators

The moderators are users who moderate; they edit posts that may break a rule or that need editing, they ban users who are continuously causing problems regardless of warnings given to them, they try to help users when they're asked a question or tagged for assistance, all in all the mods do quite a bit around here.

Respect them, appreciate them, be thankful that they spend much of their time making sure things run smoothly around here. It's not easy to keep watch over such a large site, they're humans and have lives outside of CV, treat them how you wish to be treated.

4.0 Debating Etiquette

This is going to be a major portion of this entire blog, as it's one of the most vital things to remember while debating. How you present yourself could be a game changer; not only in how you wind up as a debater but just how other users view your or how often people wish to interact with you. If you come off as brash, close minded, and vulgar, most people won't want to get to know you more.

4.1 Respect

As I discussed in the moderators section of this post treat them with respect; however, you must also treat your fellow users with respect. We all understand that this is the 'Battles' forum and it can often feel like a competition (which it isn't and I'll get to that shortly) but you still need to treat everyone around you like you would like to be treated.

You'll find that some users tend to have an aggressive style of debating, and only a select few can make this work for them so don't try to emulate such a style, most of the time it'll just make it look like you're being hostile or that you're just angry about something as silly as fictional characters.

If you engage in a debate with another user and keep yourself calm, cool, and collected the entire time it'll be a much better experience for both you and the other user(s) who participated in the discussion/debate. When you respect everyone you have a much higher chance of finding friends here and users will be more likely to respect you and/or value your opinion more.

Lastly; it's important to be confident, we all understand that a confident debater looks better than a nervous debater; however, do not confused confidence for arrogance. Every debate you'll engage in is a learning opportunity, stay humble, stay open minded, and you'll come out of the debate with more than you went in with.

Just remember that the internet isn't an auditory form of communication; so be wary of how you type things out, and don't read in between the lines of what other users post.

4.2 Keep an Open Mind

This is vital when it comes to debating, absolutely vital.

You're not going to convince everyone that you're correct, such is life, but if you go into a debate with the mindset that you're correct and nobody else can convince you otherwise then you're just contributing to the problem.

If you treat every debate as an experience to learn about a character then you will find yourself more successful than those who believe they already know anything/everything there is to know and deny that they're wrong on a regular basis.

4.3 Competition & Competitive Nature

It's true that we all like to win things, we all like to hear that we were right, and we like being told that we've done a good job with something.

However; debates in the Battles Forum are not competitions for users to win and it's important to know that. Plenty of users who view the battles as a way for them to prove their dominance over others or to try and "win" the debate. This attitude isn't one that'll bring you too far.

This goes hand in hand w/keeping an open mind and respecting the users around you. Every experience is a learning experience, sometimes you'll be right and sometimes you'll be wrong. Rather than trying to hide the fact that you were wrong for the sake of your "pride" admit that your debate partner was correct and thank them for helping you expand your knowledge banks, ask people for feats.

Being wrong isn't a bad thing, in fact, every time you learn something new about a character you'll just be that much more preparedfor the next time you're in a debate involving that character.

Oops; I accidentally said the 'P' word.
Oops; I accidentally said the 'P' word.

I_Like_Swords had an interesting addition to this regarding CAV matches as opposed to regular thread discussions:

Different story for CaVs, however. You are trying to win there, and it's all in good fun and spirit. A good thing about CaVs is challenging another persons point of view more strongly than usual sometimes opens people up to new aspects of characters they hadn't noticed before. So truly competing in a 1v1 debate can be highly productive, but again, don't argue needlessly or just for the sake of being better than the other guy. Push your points, for sure, and you don't always have to agree with everyone... but when you need to concede, or someone makes a good point, there's no shame at all in giving a little ground.

Just go in and have fun, debating here is supposed to be fun.

4.4 Humor

Humor is a good thing, it makes us laugh and it keeps things lighthearted; however, don't over do it. Posting memes about "jimmies" over and over gets stale, as do a majority of the jokes regarding the 'Batgod', Darkseid falling down stairs, Thanos pimp slap, etc.

Be witty, have fun, but don't forget to actually debate.

4.5 Grammar

Grammar is important, regardless is you're writing an important paper for school/work or if you're on an internet forum, especially if you're trying to prove a point or convince someone of your opinion.

If a user can't read your post due to grammar making it confusing, misleading, or just messy then it'll be difficult for you to convince them of anything.

As Jashro44 says: Try your best to have good grammar. It doesn't need to be perfect it just needs to be understandable.

Just make sure what you type is understandable. Run some spell checks, make sure you're using the right words, etc. If you realize you did type a mistake then just edit the post, CV has an incredibly useful interface that makes this really easy.

4.6 Callouts

Callouts happen all the time here on the Battle Forums; however, don't just go tagging users willy nilly. There have been plenty of times where I've been thrown in a grouping of tags that contain 30 - 50+ users just to try and give a thread some attention.

While I fully respect and understand that everyone wants their thread to have some attention a mass tag isn't the best way to go about it. I find myself avoiding threads where I've been tagged over and over because it's just a thread I'm not all that interested in and sometimes I don't know the characters involved.

My personal advice would be to use the Battle Phone-book, but don't tag EVERY user in the phone-book, and if you know a certain user really likes a certain character then feel free to tag them. Personally I love the Rogues, so I'll usually comment on those fights; however, while I like Deathstroke as a character I'm not too knowledgeable on his battle history, so I don't really comment in those threads.

Just make sure to know your audience, don't spam tags, and use the phone-book to get the attention your thread requires.

4.7 Recent Comics & Avoiding Spoilers

If a new comic has just come out and you're discussing events that happened within that new issue please try and use the spoilers function. There is more detail about the spoilers function in the formatting section, but it is common courtesy to wait a week or two before freely discussing recent events in comics.

We don't all have the ability to read the newest comics, and it's a total bummer to know the outcome of an epic fight before you're able to get your hands on the issue.

5.0 Debate Points

A debate is made up of multiple points; arguments aren't only about who can punch things harder or who has better gadgets, there are plenty of factors to examine.

Jashro44 brings up good points in this very post:

Don't just look at on paper stats. Look at other things like skill (both hand to hand, and marksmanship), reach, intelligence, awareness, stealth, etc. Sometimes the more powerful character doesn't win. Sometimes the more powerful character doesn't take things as seriously as other characters. Using spider-man as an example all though he is intelligent in character he isn't entirely focused on the battle. Peter in character makes jokes which-as shang chi put-"divides his focus". You have to take everything into account when you debate. There is so much more to it than just durability, speed, strength and etc.

A quick listing of various points that should be addressed in a debate are the following:

  • Physical Stats [ Strength, Speed, Reflexes, Durability ]
  • Skill [ Fighting Style, Stealth Abilities, Tactical Ability ]
  • Environment [ Does the location put a certain character at an advantage/disadvantage ]
  • Overall Characterization [ Personality, Morals, Habits ]
  • Gear [ Weapons, Armor, Gadgets ]
  • Teamwork [ In group battles teamwork is a major factor; Batman wouldn't work well with Joker ]

There's plenty more if you dig in deeper, abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, intangibility, self duplication, and a variety of other powers that pop up from time to time.

Just don't look at a debate from one single aspect, there are many factors in a battle, and it's important to address all of these factors.

5.1 Team Building

This is a sub category of Debate Points and I feel like it deserves a quick mention.

If you plan on entering a Tournament or a CAV in which you use multiple characters then consider giving this a quick read.

Some useful tips that I've obtained from both Dedmanwalkin & Sovereign91001 regarding team building is that you want to cover as many bases as you possibly can. Sometimes it's impossible to cover everything, but you want your team to have high versatility with as few weak points as possible.

The major areas to cover when creating a team are the following:

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Senses
  • Telepathy
  • Technology
  • Magic
  • Molecular Manipulation
  • BFR
  • Teamwork
  • Morals

You wouldn't want a team that has no resistance to telepathy, because the moment you wind up fighting a telepath you're going to be at a severe disadvantage, same goes if you're fighting a foe who can eliminate your team via BFR, etc.

It's also important to see how teamwork and morals play into a fight. If you try and put Captain America on a team with Red Skull or Batman on a team with Joker they won't get along and might end up fighting each other. The same goes for morals, if you want a killer on your team then you won't want Batman to fill that role, and if you want a pacifist the Punisher isn't your best option.

These are things that users often overlook when creating a team. I've made the mistake before, I picked my favorite characters instead of characters that would've created a balanced team, and it led to my downfall pretty quickly.

So stay balanced!

6.0 Formatting

Formatting an argument & your post in general may not seem that big a deal at first, but in the long run it dictates many factors of creating successful threads or writing a successful debate/counter argument.

6.1 Formatting Tools

While reading this section you're going to learn to become great friends with the following tools:

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I'll quickly outline what each tool does in light detail:

  • T // Paragraph - This is essentially the header tool. Throughout this post I've used a variety of headers and it's been essential in organizing everything into different sections
  • B // Bold - The bold tool; you can either highlight text and then click this to make a large section bold, or click this and then start typing to type in bold.
  • I // Italic - The italic tool; it works the same as the bold tool however it makes text look like this.
  • U // Underline - The underline tool; it works the same as the bold and italic tool however it makes text look like this.
  • Bullet Points - The bullet points tool. It allows you to create quick bullet points and will create a new bullet point to use every time you hit enter.
  • Numbered List - The numbered list tool. It's the same thing as bullet points... but with numbers!
  • Indentation // Left + Right - These next two are the indentation tools; I don't use them much but they pretty much serve as the tab key as far as I know.
  • Quote - This is the quote tool, one of the most vital tools when it comes to debating. I'll explain how to use this one in more depth since it won't work well in bullet points.
  • Link - The link tool allows you to link to other pages. Simply highlight the text to wish to link to something, then post the URL of what you're linking it to. This is useful for linking character names to character pages with debates.
  • Image - The image tool is also vital for the battles forums, it allows you to either take images from your desktop, a URL, your image gallery, or from a search. Personally I would say using a URL or saving images to your desktop are the easiest ways to use this tool; however, like the quote tool I'll explain this in more detail since it's such an important tool.
  • Video - The video tool allows you to embed a video in your post. It's useful in debates if you're using film or video game characters, as it's the easiest way to show 'feats' for these characters.
  • Table - The table tool allows you to create a table or chart. It's not too useful for battling, but I've seen some users incorperate it into their debates for equipment listings & whatnot.
  • Spoiler - The spoiler tool allows you to highlight text and then create a spoiler censor over it. If you use this then your text will look just like the following: Snape kills Dumbledore. OOps.
  • Spoiler Block - The spoiler block tool allows you to take a large portion of text and hide it under the spoiler block. People will have to then click to reveal the spoilers thus making it useful for condensing large pieces of information.

As for Tweet, Remove Format, and Clean, I've never used them in a debate and I don't know anyone else who has either. The tools that I've listed & described in this section are the main tools that will aid you in formatting a nice post and/or thread.

6.2 The Quote Tool

The quote tool has personally become my best friend; and it'll be incredibly useful to you when you're responding to a point or argument that someone made; especially if you don't want to copy/paste their entire argument.

Basically what you'll do is the following:

1.) Highlight the portion of the post that you'd like you quote & copy it.

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2.) Paste the highlighted/copied portion of the post into your own post/comment.

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3.) Highlight the text you've just pasted into your own post, and hit the quote button.

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In doing this you'll notice what you've quoted becomes a darker colored text, is indented slightly, and becomes a smaller text size. The usefulness of quoting sections of another users post is it'll allow you to address certain and specific points.

This way anyone else who reads the post will know exactly what you're referring to, because the point your addressing is right above the point you're making. It just helps keep a debate organized & prevents people from having to scroll up/down over and over to refer to specific points, it's just all right there for them.

6.3 The Image Tool

The image tool is an incredibly useful tool; especially when you're creating a thread in the Battles Forums and want to show pictures of the characters within the match or if you're posting scans as evidence for your own argument.

Here's how the Image Tool works:

1. Click the image tool; you'll then see this popup.

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2. To insert an image that you've saved somewhere on your desktop click the my desktop button. Once you've down that it'll allow you to search through your computer to select the image(s) that you wish to post.

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If you wish you insert multiple images just hold the Ctrl key while left clicking on the images, if you only wish to insert one image just left click the image and then hit open.

3. Once you've selected and "opened" the images you wish you insert you'll be provided with two different posting styles. You can either stack them in the center (not recommended) or side by side (can support up to 20 images at a time).

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I HIGHLY suggest using Thumbnails if you're posting multiple images.

Here's what the side by side format looks like within a post/comment after they've been uploaded:

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It'll place the images in thumbnails and can hold up to 20 images per side by side set; highly recommended for posting the pictures of characters you've put on a team, sequential pages for scans, or a variety of panels/scans that show several different feats in a single category (strength, speed, etc) to group them together.

6.4 Creating a Thread | The OP

So; you're thinking about creating a battle between some of your favorite fictional characters, first make sure you've read the Battle Forum Rules for creating a battle, secondly, make sure that the battle you're creating hasn't already been made. I say this because I've seen practically hundreds of the same Batman vs Captain America or Superman vs Thor threads here on the site, it really floods the forums and people get a tad bored seeing the same battles over and over again.

So if you meet the two above qualifications then you're ready to create a battle; here's my advice to avoid the clutter, oh do you want to see what clutter looks like first?

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The user tried to cover all their bases; but the formatting makes the OP difficult the read and the images got all messed up throwing everything off.

So, how could this OP have been edited to make a more clear/organized post?

1.) Take all those various conditions (No Prep, Morals Off, No BFR, etc) and create a header named Conditions. Using your bullet point tool you can then easily list these conditions, and people can quickly read the header and find the conditions of the battle.

2.) Fix the images. They did the right thing by putting that team together using the side by side image tool; however, the picture of Silver Surfer got all mixed up. To fix this just insert the picture of Silver Surfer first, and then hit enter to go under that picture, and post the side by side images.

This is what the original OP would look like if it had been organized in such a way:

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I had to zoom out to get the entire post in one picture, but the images are clear, the combatants are listed, and the battle conditions are easily accessible.

I'm not saying EVERY thread should have this exact layout, but it's a good place to start or to inspire you to create your own organizational format. I've seen other users organize their threads differently and they all seem to workout just fine, just try and prevent everything from becoming jumbled and the thread should (hopefully) be a success.

Lastly; it's also important to try and stay out of debates within your own thread. If someone asks for information about a character feel free to provide them with it, but as the match creator you should stay as indifferent to each side as you possibly can.

6.5 Creating an Introduction

If you've decided to participate in a CAV (Challenge a Viner) or a Tournament here on the Vine then you're going to need to know how to create an introduction post as these will start off any and all "formal" debates.

If you're debating in a random thread in which the public are allowed to participate in then you don't really need an introduction, so feel free to skip this if you don't plan on doing any CAV or Tournament style debates.

The key components to an introduction (in my personal opinion) are the following:

  • A brief description of the character(s) you're using in this fight. Often times it will help give your opponent and the voter(s) a basic idea on who you're debating for.
  • A brief description of the equipment and/or perks your character(s) have for the battle. This isn't always applicable because not all CAV or Tournament matches will grant extra perks or equipment, it changes from time to time.
  • A short summary on why you believe your character(s) would win the battle/challenge/task at hand.

Now that last bit is easier said than done, and there are PLENTY aspects of a debate to examine and observe. I suggest reviewing the Debate Points section of this post to see a more in depth discussion of points to mention within a debate.

One important thing to remember is not to use too much of your ammunition, if you fire off all your major points early on in the debate your argument will soon become repetitive and lack substance during your closer/final posts. It's always good to hold that ace in the hole for when your debate partner seems to be gaining the upper hand.

All in all the introductory post isn't supposed to be too long, it's just a quick overview of your character(s) and some short points on why you think your team will be successful.

Several example introductions can be found in the following threads:

  • TTBA vs Joygirl [ HERE ]
  • Frozen vs Lvenger [ HERE ]
  • Veshark vs Sovereign91001 vs Kidman560 [ HERE ]

Those links should give a variety of different styles for introductions.

6.6 Creating a Counter Argument

Introductions aren't the only portion of a debate or else debates would go by pretty quick here on the Vine.

The meat of the debate (and when things get interesting) would be when users begin creating counter arguments against each other.

During this portion it's vital to address the main points that your debate partner might be bringing up against you, here are some examples:

  • User 1 believes their character could use telepathy to defeat User 2's character, User 2 should then try and find instances in which their character has resisted telepathy on the same level (or better than) User 1's character.
  • User 1 believes that their character is faster and stronger than User 2's character, User 2 should then try and find instances to prove that their character is equal to or better than User 1's character OR explain why User 1's advantages aren't the deciding factor in the fight.

It's also useful to use the quote tool when addressing specific points (as explained in 4.2) this way it'll be clearer for your debate partner and users who read the debate to see what you countered with and how.

When in the Counter-Argument phase it's important not to become a broken record. Don't reuse the same 2 or 3 points over and over, your debate becomes stale and you're not bringing anything new to the discussion. This ties in with 4.5 in which it was suggested that you don't use up all of your argument in a single post, spread it out between several posts, it keeps the debate alive and exciting throughout each and every post.

Examples of counter arguments:

  • TTBA vs Beatboks1 [ HERE ]
  • Veshark vs Sovereign91001 vs Kidman 560 [ HERE ]
  • Frozen vs Lvenger [ HERE ]

There are plenty more that one can find if they search around (the Debaters Rating Forum is a great place to look) but the above are some examples I had on hand.

6.7 Creating a Closing Argument

The closing argument, the sign of the end.

A closing argument should be like an introduction post, short and sweet; however, instead of an overview of your character you'll want to provide an overview of the debate, summarize the strengths you brought up in the debate, and give one last short explanation of why you believe that your character(s) would be successful.

7.0 Scans

Scans are a slightly controversial topic.

However; here are some quotes from fellow users regarding scans that I agree with.

Beatboks1:

Don't take scans as the be all/end all proof of a characters capability. Respect Forums are full of massively out of context scans. A perfect example is for Arion. Based on his respect forum you'd assume he was encroaching sky father yet most of the high end feats are when others like Mordru, Morgane Le Fey and others are possessing or amping him.

Dredeuced:

Scans are a heavily used aspect of the forum to prove points and anyone wanting to use them should be familiar with the basic etiquette of using scans.

If you are going to rely on a scan to prove a point you need to know the full context behind the scan. Whether it be because you read the issue it came from or had the full context explained to you by someone who has (and that person is reliable). If you do not know the full context then it is important to state as such so people don't misconstrue your argument as intentionally deceiving. Characters go through many changes over their histories and a specific scan might not be applicable for any number of reasons to a particular version of a character. It's important to have this kind of information parsed and sorted. Sometimes mistakes are made on that front and it's not a big deal to be wrong, so long as you can admit your mistake and you're not doing it maliciously.

For that matter, do not create or crop a scan to intentionally mislead people into believing your point because you took it out of context you were aware of. We all like to be right, but being duplicitous to trick people into thinking you're right is a no no. This applies to really anything, but with scans it's an extra relevant problem. This forum is filled to the brim with people who know their stuff and pulling crap like that rarely works.

Scans frequently take up a lot of screen space and the over abundance of large scans on one page can make a thread utterly unreadable, especially when people get to quoting posts. Do not post huge, screen elongating scan dumps without putting them in a spoiler. Don't quote them, either, just respond to them in order. It's a lot easier to flip back and forth to see what someone's talking about when using the scroll bar to find a specific scan isn't like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

If you do not know something about a scan or have any questions or skepticism about a scan someone else posted, never feel embarrassed or averse to asking the person who posted it. They should know what they're talking about if they're using it to make a point. Sometimes their information is deferred from someone they consider an expert, which isn't bad, but try to track down the original source of the knowledge or ask the person posting the scan exactly where they learned about it.

Scans are not a replacement for logic. Just posting a bunch of feats with no application to how they directly affect a close fight doesn't make your case for you. It is better to make a logical point and then, when pressed, provide proof that your point is feasible through the scan rather than the reverse where you just post scans until someone asks you to cobble together a relevant argument from said scans. It saves time and bandwidth.

Keep your scans relevant! If I make a thread about Superman and Thor having an arm wrestling competition, then Superman's heat vision scans don't mean anything. A strength scan? Sure! It doesn't matter how truthful a scan is if it doesn't have anything to do with the topic.

Learn how to navigate the small medium large image posting setup. Comicvine's image system is awesome and self hosted, but can be kind of wonky in debates. You'll frequently see people make threads or posts with these staggered, ridiculous looking sentences interspersed between lots of displaced scans. Those are a pain to read and it's best to avoid it.

We all know that a lot of scans come from illegal sources. We're not dumb. A lot of scans just come from digital releases that folks buy and incidentally have on their hardware. Some scans come from comics that are only available through secondary markets being scanned, some people download the digital version of a comic they legitimately own so they can post a scan from it for any number of earnest reasons, and there's a million other extenuating circumstances. The important thing is don't go looking around for illegal crap on the site. If that's your prerogative none of us can stop you, but don't drag others into illegal activity.

If you can keep all that in mind then the use of scans should only come as a boon to you.

Frozen:

Don't rely on scans too much - form your points, argue a point and use scans if need be. Also always flex knowledge if you can, if a noobie asks a question which you know the answer to, answer it --- trust me when I say, it will simply increase the positivty people associate with you

Comicstooge:

Know the context behind every scan you post. This way, your arguments are air tight.

God_Spawn:

Pro-Tip: In general, scans don't make a debater. If anything, scans should only be supplemental at best. Reason being, a lot of people don't have scanners, and sometimes respect threads don't have the greatest context. The only real way to know if they are helpful is if you actually know the context. Now, not all respect threads are inaccurate, but it's just something that should be taken into consideration. Actual issue referencing is better than scans, IMO. Gambler and Vance have both said before that a good debater shouldn't always need to present scans. They are indeed helpful, but mindlessly posting a bunch of them doesn't make your point seem more valid.

I agree with all of these; especially given the new scans rule, the rule can be found [ HERE ]

Use scans sparingly, debating is about crafting an argument with your words and wit, scans only serve to reinforce a point should reinforcement be required.

It's also important to remember not to only use high end or low end feats. Another user put it quite nicely:

Jashro44:

Don't use high end or low end feats exclusively. Look at all showings. For every showing of Batman fighting Wonder Woman there is a showing of Zsasz nearly killing Batman. Or for every showing of a dying batman cracking RPG proof glass there is a showing of batman failing to move a 630 lbs boulder to save a little girls life. For every showing of Deathstroke fighting Wonder Woman or owning the Justice League there is one where he gets humiliated by Nightwing or Cassandra Cain.

Often times I've seen many debates that just end up walls of scans without much or any application. In short, just don't rely on scans, try to avoid using them if you can, and don't over-do it if you do use them.

8.0 Bias

Bias is an unfortunate factor in many users on the site; it's suggested you leave all bias at the door but sometimes it's nearly impossible to have a completely open mind.

When dealing with bias in yourself just remember that you're dealing with fictional characters that don't exist in the real world. It doesn't matter if your favorite comic character loses a battle in an internet forum, it's just for fun and nobody gains anything if you get upset about the outcome of these battles.

When dealing with bias in others it's best to just let it go. If someone is unwilling to accept a fact or is showing extreme bias combined with a closed mind, just ignore them, and don't engage. You can't change the minds/opinions of everyone and sometimes it's for the better to just leave it be.

9.0 Research

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Research is vital in any debate; the internet is a vast place filled with nearly limitless information, it's not too difficult to find information on your own character(s) or those that your debate partner is using. Here are some suggestions I've been given regarding research:

  • Google the battle and see if you can find threads involving the character(s) you're looking for. See what other users had to say about the battle and why they believed what they did. If you're doing this it's important to check the date of the thread as there may be changes in the characters if it's a super old thread.
  • Ask your peers. You're on a website filled with comic book enthusiasts (or nerds, we're all kind of nerds in all honesty) and we LOVE talking about our favorite characters. If you see someone that's really well versed with Martian Manhunter or with Silver Surfer and you want to know that character better send someone a PM, or tag them in a thread. More often then not people will try and help to the best of their abilities, it's just a matter of using your resources.
  • Use the wiki. This won't give you the best information, but it's good for a quick overview of a character if you literally know nothing about them. Granted I wouldn't suggest citing wiki information (since anyone can edit them) but it's still useful.
  • Read comics; that's the BEST way to do research. Go to the local library and see if they've got any collected trades, borrow some from your friends if you can, and if you're REALLY into it buy comics. I'll admit that I've bought an issue or two of a comic to search for information about my own character or my debate partner's character; however, you don't HAVE to get this extreme when doing research.

As long as you're actively keeping an open mind and making sure you do a little bit of research for your debate, you'll be on the right track.

10.0 The Majority

Often times you'll see users enter a thread and provide one word answers without giving any detail what so ever, the best thing you can do is challenge these users.

Tag one or two of them and ask WHY they think that, and if you think that the other character could win then provide a counter argument, never be afraid to go against the majority if you think you have something to bring to the table that hasn't already been discussed.

The absolute worst thing that can happen is that they prove you wrong and you learn something, which seems like a win/win situation in my books.

Granted; don't go against the majority if you're going to repeat age old arguments that have been discussed already, that's not beneficial to anyone.

Some other users had their own input on dealing with the Majority; I figure it's important to express multiple views on this.

Jashro44:

Don't be afraid to disagree. The majority are actually wrong quite a lot in threads and you won't get any credit as a debater if you don't disagree with others. Don't be afraid to lose, especially if you are a new debater (this might be the same thing as one, its very important to stress you need to disagree with people). If you're wrong you're wrong. And new debaters aren't typically expected to be good, so being wrong isn't a big deal. Basically if you disagree with someone just argue why you think they're wrong. If you're right good for you, if you're wrong than you can learn from your loss and you know better for next time.

Wolverine08:

Be willing to go against the majority if you feel it's justified but don't disagree for the sake of it either. Just use your knowledge of the characters in a battle to elucidate on whom you think would win.

Beatboks1:

Question everything even your own stance, if someone offers you a take on a character that you've never seen but it makes sense explore it. My father has a saying there are 3 sides to every story. His hers and the truth (always somewhere in the middle). The number of times when someone has pointed something out and I've reviewed an issue I thought I knew exceptionally well and learned something completely new are staggering. It's why my position on many characters has changed a lot over the years. I could point to old debates of 5 or 6 years ago where I had a stance completely different to the one I might hold now.

So just be wary of the majority, don't become a user who posts one or two words without reasoning, that doesn't help anyone learn.

Conclusions

There's still more to debating than this, and if you have any questions don't be afraid to PM a user whom you respect for advice on how to improve.

I hope anyone who reads this is able to take SOMETHING from this, be it a new look on debating, or just some helpful advice. If you've got any suggestions for alterations or additions to this, feel free to comment below & we'll see what we can do.

See you in the Battles Forum :)

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HumanRocket

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You were trying to click 'Off-Topic' or 'RPG' but you accidentally hit Battles

I'm not saying that's how I ended up here...but that's how I ended up here. But it was a good read. Hope this gets pinned to the battle forum main bored. It's that worthy.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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You were trying to click 'Off-Topic' or 'RPG' but you accidentally hit Battles

I'm not saying that's how I ended up here...but that's how I ended up here. But it was a good read. Hope this gets pinned to the battle forum main bored. It's that worthy.

Thanks HR, I got a lot of input from some darn good users about how they view debating and I tried to include as much as I could in order to get a variety of different perspectives on several common themes.

It's a first draft, but I think it reads well & can only get better w/time!

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Also; I don't know why the spoilers are being weird. I'll work on fixing that.

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PrinceAragorn1

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I was originally planning on dropping a 'didn't read lol', but that's a well written post. Good job.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@princearagorn1: Thanks :) If you feel it could be improved in any area let me know!

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i_like_swords

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#6 i_like_swords  Online

This should be pinned, or at least bumped regularly. Truly awesome job, TTBA.

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BeaconofStrength

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#7  Edited By BeaconofStrength

Nice, really nice.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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#8  Edited By TheTrueBarryAllen

This should be pinned, or at least bumped regularly. Truly awesome job, TTBA.

Thank you so much, ILS, and thank you for providing your own input on these topics. It really added so much more to it having several users provide content for this.

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dagmar_merrill

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ssj_god

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback, and it's really cool to see that some of you think this is 'Pin Worthy' :)

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i_like_swords

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#12 i_like_swords  Online

@thetruebarryallen: I think you're the one who deserves the thanks, bro. The reason CV holds as high a standard for debating as it does is because there are guys like you around who look to continue improving on it, and help with introducing others to the board in a positive manner. You've really done something for the community here.

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JakeN7

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#13  Edited By JakeN7
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Marvete_e_DCnauta

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This should get fixed.

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GhostRavage

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#15  Edited By GhostRavage
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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@ghostravage: Well hey; I'd love some input if you see some areas that you'd like to add to :)

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chaos911

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This is getting pinned

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cbishop

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Just commenting so I can find it later and read it.

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Transformers1024

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#19  Edited By Transformers1024

Yep, this needs to get pinned.

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DarthAznable

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The only thing you need to know about battle forums. Batman solos, Flash solos, pressure points always win.

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Jestersmiles

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reaverlation

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Respect Barry for doing this,regardless of the way less amount I spend here on CV

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kyrees

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let's pin this stuff!!!

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Respect Barry for doing this,regardless of the way less amount I spend here on CV

Thanks :)

@kyrees said:

let's pin this stuff!!!

Hah, I wish.

Maybe I'll tag the mods to see what they think: @god_spawn, @saren, @k4tzm4n

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Claymore1998

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Very interesting read Barry, keep up the good work.

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God_Spawn

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#26 God_Spawn  Moderator

Pinned.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Very interesting read Barry, keep up the good work.

Thanks! I actually plan on writing up another section about Team Creation based off of discussions I've had w/DeadmanWalkin & Sovereign91001.

Pinned.

Oh wow! This is exciting :D

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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JakeN7

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@jaken7: No comment. I know how that scene ends you trickster.

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JakeN7

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OrdinaryAlan

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Really awesome stuff here Barry. A fantastic guide for new and even older debaters. Lots of helpful reminders and suggestions. Props to you, man. I'm glad this got pinned also.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Really awesome stuff here Barry. A fantastic guide for new and even older debaters. Lots of helpful reminders and suggestions. Props to you, man. I'm glad this got pinned also.

Thank you :)

I actually found a lot of the advice helpful when I had asked some other users about their opinions on the subjects, things I had never thought of myself. It's quite true that no matter how experienced one is there is always room for more knowledge!

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johnfrank120

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This a great stuff, useful for anyone on the battle forums

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Cream_God

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Id add "Don't create a thread and debate against or for a character in it because of a personal agenda"

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Edits 1/7/2014 | 3:07 PM EST

  • Added Useful Links Section
  • Added Humor section to Debaters Etiquette
  • Added Grammar section to Debaters Etiquette
  • Added Team Building to Debate Points
  • Attempted to fix Spoiler Blocks; still popping up w/2 blocks for each section for some reason

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jashro44

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I read this before you edited this but one thing to put under debaters etiquette if its not there is to use spoilers if a comic just came out this week. I can't tell you how many times I pissed someone off by posting spoilers on a comic they haven't read.....

And very great job man!

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@jashro44 said:

I read this before you edited this but one thing to put under debaters etiquette if its not there is to use spoilers if a comic just came out this week. I can't tell you how many times I pissed someone off by posting spoilers on a comic they haven't read.....

And very great job man!

Thanks, Jash! A lot of your advice & opinions actually helped me write many of these sections, I'll update the debaters etiquette section to including what you've mentioned about spoilers!

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jashro44

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@thetruebarryallen: No problem man, glad I could help. And as I said really good job here! This will be very useful to the new viners.

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seanmichaelodriscoll

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Really good read, I love this thread and hope it gets pinned, your a great viner bro!

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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Really good read, I love this thread and hope it gets pinned, your a great viner bro!

Thanks, and thanks to God_Spawn it was indeed pinned!

:)

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seanmichaelodriscoll

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@thetruebarryallen:

@seanmichaelodriscoll said:

Really good read, I love this thread and hope it gets pinned, your a great viner bro!

Thanks, and thanks to God_Spawn it was indeed pinned!

:)

Dude, you know what? Thanks for that in fact, that made my day, so looks like you got a new follower!

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HigorM

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Perfect, job well done. Congrats to everyone to contributed so this idea came true. Hope to see a improved forum section in the future. You can count on me, as always.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@seanmichaelodriscoll: Thanks for the follow :)

@higorm said:

Perfect, job well done. Congrats to everyone to contributed so this idea came true. Hope to see a improved forum section in the future. You can count on me, as always.

Thank you, and thank you for what you contributed to help make this a reality!

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Jonez_

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Read the entire thing. Beautiful job, TTBA!

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@jonez120 said:

Read the entire thing. Beautiful job, TTBA!

Thanks, Jonez :)

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unBREAKable_Fs4

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Good stuff man.

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Mortal

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Goku stomps all. No contest.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@mortal said:

Goku stomps all. No contest.

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