To open the chat window, click on the top toolbar in the forum, on te word 'Chat'. This should open the chat room. The entire chat room is based upon your Forum log-in; you need to be logged in to a validated account to use this feature. However, be cautious, as if you log in using the 'Super Secret' mode, aka 'Keep-me-hidden' mode, you will be unable to write, only watch. And this is no fun at all. However, it does keep your name shrouded in mystery, and no-one knows you exist.
To write, simply select the chat bar, and write your message. I experianced a little lag with longer messages, so be patient, or a multi-poster you shall become.
The chat window is split into sub-sections, to stop all the spammers spamming into the same place, or at least give the option to spread the spam. To speak in a different sub-section, simply click on the icon above the message display box. When you first use the AE Chat feature, you will have the options to choose, The Tavern, Trade, and Help. If you need help, continue reading, or ask, in the 'Help' section.
If you notice a chatter with a shield icon, they will be able to point you in the right direction. The shield represents their power as Protectors of Justice.
As with all of AE's marvellous communication methods, Smiley's are included. To insert a smiley, simply click one of the symbols in the box below, and it will appear in the Chat bar as it's keyboard character representation. (If you really needed to be told this, I suggest you close the window. Now.) For advanced users, you may bypass the clicking stage, and progress on to simply typing what you want, using the correct characters.
Typing a colon, ':', followed by an close bracket ')', gives you access to the 'Smile'.
Typing a greater than symbol, '>', followed by two further greater than symbols earns you the 'Green Right-pointing Arrow'.
There's no equivilant...==>
Just above the Smiley box, are the format tools. These allow you to embolded, italisize, underline, or cross-out words. Unlike the forum formatting feature, this opens a new sub-window, into you must type your message that you wish to stylise. When you close this sub-window, the message will be place inside the chat bar, with the relevant keyboard character codes either side of the stylised phrase.
The final function lets you use colour in what you say. Unlike the others, it simply opens a new toolbar, which requires you to select the colour you wish to use, then type what you wish to say. However, if you wish to change colour, you must select your new colour from the colout toolbar. It does not display any keyboard character codes within the chat bar, so there are no simple ways to acheive multi-coloured phrasing without using a mouse. A sad day for you elite typers out there.
After spending several weeks getting acustomed to the basic Chat window options, and experiance the AE community for what it is, and you feel like progressing further, perhaps you should try the 'advanced features' on offer.
These features are located below the chat bar, and offer some promising things.
- 1-The first is the disconnect. Clicking, will render you unable to chat, by disconnecting you. Do not press this button, unless you wish not to chat.
2-The second is a feature allwoing you to see different chatters by different colours, allowing easy distingtion between spammer's spam. For example, one Spammer will be assigned red, and next to all his posts in the message window, will be his name in red. If you wish to see what he hs posted, simply look for a red name. You can treat this very much like an avatar, for quickly finding somon'es posts. However, unlike the forums, not everybody will have a catcus theme.
3-The third button hides the time stamps, which inreturn for not seeing when something was posted, you get enough room on a line for a single character. Excellant.
4-The fourth prevents those annoying notifaction noises bothering you, but you should have been chatting for long enough to simply accept these as part of you acoustic life by now. Simply press the button, and whilst you are doing something else, you will no longer hear a 'ping' everytime new spam had been added to the pile.
5-The fifth box hides the smiley box, rendering you unable to show your true emotions on the internet. Clicking this is a bad call. It will only make your witty, sarcastic remarks make people feel happy inside, when in fact, it was insulting. On the other hand, everytime you say anything at all, someone will be insulted.
6-Finally, the sixth button stops you seeing who you are spamming to, as this is the hide online users feature. If you don't want to see your audiance, you can select this option, and suddenly alot more message box is availiable, so you can read more at once.
One of the most useful buttons that the Chat window contains is the 'minimise window' button. This looks very much like the 'minimise window' button on most Window's applications. For example, if you use Internet Explorer, look at the top right of your screen now, and locate the third button from the right. It looks like the head of a non-plussed blind robot, or a letter box. This button allows you to minimise the chat window, so all you are left with is a useless screen. Excellant. To return to the spam-fest, simply click on the button one more time.
Though at the moent this guide is far from finished (I shall tomorrow), I hope it gives you a shoulder to lean on during your first chat encounter.
Whilst Chatting do not reveal any personal details, such as Address, age, bank account details, pin numbers, AE passwords (you'll regret that), and what you are wearing. Especially to those Protectors of Justice, with the shield icons. They are fully trustable, but shifty, characters, and should only be asked for help. If anyone asks you want your password is, it is likely they are not representatives of Astro Empires, and do not tell them what you are wearing.
Remember, Chat Safe!