The following list is not inclusive, and will be expanded as appropriate.
- Basic questions get asked all the time. Many of the basic questions are answered in tutorials and file guides available from the Phrozen Keep's main pages. You may be just starting out and have no idea where to start. The Keep's resource center is the best place to begin, especially the Idiot's Guide to Mod Making.
- Look, Listen and Learn. Before you ask a question, scan the forum and see if an existing thread covers your topic. You might even find your question has already been answered! I have seen threads two lines apart, where the earlier post had the answer to the question in the second post. Also use the Search button at upper right. Keep your search text general and sift through the threads. At the very least, don't start new threads that cover the same ground as existing threads. Nobody gets awards for the number of topics started.
- Don't put things in your message like "I am leaving in a few minutes, can you answer this question before I get back so I can get on with business?" or "I am lazy, and don't want to read all that stuff." That is plain rude, you are saying your time is more valuable than ours, and you would just as soon we all drop what we are doing and solve your problem for you. Even if you do feel that way, just ask your question without expressing the sentiment. We really don't want to know.
- If you have an idea, try it out! Don't just ask somebody else to burn up their time solving your problems. Modding is an interactive and iterative process: you make a change, test it, correct it if necessary. You may find to your surprise the idea works from day one. If not, you will find that correcting errors teaches you a lot about modding. If you can't figure it out, then you will at least know what you need to ask a specific question.
- If your question is really targeted towards one person, send a Private Message. The PM button below each person's posts will set you up to launch a private message to the person. (Be aware that a copy of each private message is saved in your Sentbox, so clean that out regularly if you send private messages often.)
- Use the subject field to summarize your post. Topics with non-specific phrases like "Help Me" may express how you feel, but won't necessarily attract the attention of the people who might know the answer you are seeking. Moderators reserve the right to edit your subject line for the benefit of the other forum users.
- You may want to think twice about responding to a thread where the previous post is over a few weeks old. Chances are very good the other participants have moved on to other concerns, or solved whatever problem they might have had at the time. The best reason for resurrecting a dead topic is to post situational updates if no current thread addresses the root issue. But most people start new topics even for updates, on the idea that a period of inactivity derails that thread's train of thought. Occasionally a thread will be *bumped* to jog people's memory about an outstanding issue, but this should be done very rarely and only for topics inactive longer than a week or two.
- Did you just crash? Before you ask anybody how to fix it, be sure you collect the facts. Debugging errors is another form of detective work. Make note of recent changes you made, and what you were doing in the game right before the crash. There are two types of crashes in Diablo II: assertions and unhandled exceptions. Assertions are when the game code makes some test of data and a potentially invalid condition is discovered. A popup with an assertion message appears (easiest to see in windowed mode), and debug information is posted to your debug file (the one in your install directory named D2yymmdd.txt). An unhandled exception occurs when an invalid condition has already occurred, and Windows (not the game) chokes on the results. Here you must look to the debug file for more information. None of us are mind readers, so the more information you provide, the more likely we are able to answer your question.
- Members announcing updates to their sites or projects should use the same threads previous announcements were posted to. Creating new threads over and over to announce updates causes unnecessary clutter in the forum, and loses continuity in the subject. It also degrades the search feature.