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Site Overhaul?

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Site Overhaul?

Now I have no say in any site/forum related matters, but I got to thinking today about the Town and the Palace and how long it's been since there have been any real updates. Granted, we are still a small community but it appears we have a fairly solid base of Townies who are continuing to return day after day despite all the craziness that sometimes goes on in these boards.

I don't know if there are any plans to update the site's appearance and whatnot, but I thought it would be fun to discuss new looks for this place if we had the ability to do so. Also, what kinds of features would you add to the site? Monthly contests, perhaps? If so, what kind? More smilies? A section in the Palace for video tutorials maybe?

Remember, this is all pure fantasy. Just something I started daydreaming about while driving the highways up here. I think what really got me thinking about this was one time, years ago, there was a store in the Town where you could purchase items using points earned from making posts. The Jacket, I believe, was in charge of all that, and it was quite fun. You could earn interest every week or so. Some of the items would let you change the forum skin for a day, and someone had changed it to a black and white cow skin, if I remember correctly. Actually, that might have been even before my time. But there was another instance where the skin was changed.

Anyway, the store/bank/point system is something I think would be fun to have back, as well as an updated forum appearance, and maybe a "face palm" smiley for ssbfan Wink

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Being able to ADD more icons isn't a bad idea, but I do love the ones we have so far...and maybe we could earn points to trade between ourselves for things, as well? Such as...

Emanzi helps me by giving me a character sheet edit, so I give Emanzi 5 points.

...and then have it do some random thing on the forums, or be able to buy games to play in the forums using the points. And get our high scores saved and posted as well...

Just adding to the discussion. 'Sides the "more reason to spend time here? :D" aspect, I like the forums just how they are. Heart

btw, Meu, here's your BIG YELLOW MARKER.

Trent saw you naked.

Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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It would be cool to have a purchase system thing.
But aslong as it didn't affect what noobs come in to do, say downloading our content, but other than sounds like it could be alot of fun! Laugh

I don't know if i have said it enough, but we REALLY could do with a better crying emote...

An updated forum apperance...? What did you have in mind?
Getting rid of the depressing dark-blue background? Sticking Out Tongue

This shop thing, what happened to it before? Confused

But yer, a new forum look would be pretty cool! Laugh

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The shop and bank went away after the War took place. I left for a while, around that time, so I'm not entirely sure what happened to it. I think certain members were abusing it. One member in particular, Kaiox, had so many points from spam posting that he basically could buy up all the items in the store so no one else could get anything. That was the other thing, there were limited quantities of each item. It was really a lot of fun, but at the time I didn't accumulate enough points to purchase anything worth while.

Some of the items that you could buy included the one I mentioned before where you could change the board's appearance for a day, change your member title (which you can do now without any special stuff), and um...I can't remember what the other stuff did :lol3:

As for the "depressing dark-blue background"...I kinda like it, but I just thought maybe a fresher look might help attract people who occassionally come back to visit. Even if there aren't any new resource or game updates, a new look might be enough to get their attention and make them stick around long enough to see that the place isn't dead.

I really need to get to work on my tutorials so there is some new content for the site. Quite a few of you guys seem to be working hard on your projects, so maybe we'll have a sudden flood of new games as well! Smile

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War? What war?

Also, to fix the "SPAM POSTS FOR POINTS" thing, points can always be deducted by moderators...or have no points added for posts in the spam bin...or be based on a Thanks system.

Trent saw you naked.

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There was a war within the Town. It involved several "factions" of Townies, including the Lolluminati, the High Rollers, the Real Furries, and one other group that I should probably know because I think I was apart of that particular group. Anyway, it was a bunch of chaos and it developed into a bunch of drama and many of those people left for Wheedonia--another board that seems very much dead nowadays and exists for no other reason except to spam. Originally it was used to libel certain members of RPG Town.

Anyway, the history of this "war" may be in the RPG Chronicles if it's been updated since then. I lost interest in this place during that time because there was no focus on RPG Maker. Even though it's MUCH quieter these days, at least active members have an interest in game making Smile

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...the hell were they arguing over? :Golly: And what the heck were they talking about if not RPG Maker? This IS an RPG Maker forum... -goes to check the Chronicles-

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They would just talk about whatever kind of crap was on their minds. Some people had RPG Maker-related discussions, but they seemed very few and far between. Wolfhunt was a big deal back then.

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egg_dragon @ Apr 28 2010, 04:54 PM wrote:

They would just talk about whatever kind of crap was on their minds.

:lol3:

I don't even have to comment for you guys to find that funny! :lol3:

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It wasn't like here. Nowadays there's focus on RPG Maker and game creation. Back then it would just be random remarks about other Townies and people making fun of each other. At least, that's all I care to remember.

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Oh, that's no good Frown

Well at least there was a type of 'revolution' that ended the war and got them to either get lost or start talking 'bout RPG's more Laugh

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I'm glad things are the way they are, here. Personally would like a little more activity, but I can deal with things the way they are. Who wants a bunch of drama queen bitchy members anyway? Close-knit awesome community > bitchy drama llama filled community. Wink

Trent saw you naked.

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:lol3:

Some more regular members would be cool, but your right, a smaller, less retarted community wins by far!

Back to the thread, a more organised smilie system...
when you click, "Show All" on the left when making a reply, it has the smilies listed in no order and sevral listed more than once Gasp

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A shoutbox would be nice as we wouldn't have to go offtopic to have everyday talks with ourselves...
(contrary to what baaaaallssss has to say... still seems like a good idea.)

also an update to the chronicles, I mean it stops at 2006. what happened later on?

besides that I think the site is stable enough.


The project still lives!

SPAMHUNTER SCORE: A+
KILLS: 22 DEATHS: 0 CRITICALS: 2 = TOTAL KILLS: 23

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R.A.V., you got it. XD Shoutbox, update...

...maybe a way to donate into a fund to keep the site up? I would donate if I could, you know.

Again, Meu... BIG YELLOW MARKER! lol? >__>;

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Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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Definitely a method for donating. I haven't seen Maxy around in ages, though. Lucky for us, he's still paying to keep the site up! Laugh

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That's really nice of him...I personally hope Maxy comes back at some point, though. Gasp

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Not sure what he's up to. I wasn't really around much in 2007 and 2008 so I don't know exactly how everything went down, but some of the other members apparently got mad at Maxy and Inq for something. I never had much interaction with Maxy, but he seems pretty ok to me. And Inq sent me an IM back in 2005 after I first joined complimenting me on being a good new member (something to do with me keeping my cool after one of the other members started flaming and causing trouble). Inq has always been on my good side since then lol but I haven't seen him around for a long time, either.

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I've seen Inq once or twice, I think...never got to meet Maxy. Meu's been around a few times too, but...still, geez...this place only has a handful of members who stick around. Isn't it like, ten of us on at any given time posting? Everyone else here is all "lol download and leave, yee!"

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Yeah, there's just a handful of us on here daily.

myself, you, Emanzi, Rav, Asthayanax, Roflcopter, Karl, ssbbfan, and Yami. Chickensoupcheese is on fairly regularly, too, but he's a little more reserved with his posting lol and Meu posts every once in a while. But being in charge of the forums and the site as a whole, CSC and Meu may be on more than we think. Just because they don't post frequently doesn't mean they aren't around doing other things Wink

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I know CSC and Meu are on more than they post...I see them on every once in a while. I know they work hard. -sage nod- I wonder what Maxy was like, though...

Trent saw you naked.

Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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His profile pic had an eye patch, so I guess, pirate-like..? Confused

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I believe his avatar was the face of the main character in Escape From New York.

Inquisitor was around a bit when I had begun posting, but was much less active afterward, I did receive a Private Message from him regarding some broken links I believe, when I had asked him about it.

A way for members to donate would be good, a Shoutbox is something that some of us could use, Updating certain things in the site ought to be a higher priority of course, I tend not to use smileys so that does not bother me much.

I would like to see perhaps a brighter layout for the forums, or perhaps - as I have seen in other forums, - a small bar to the side or top, where you can personally select the layout of your choice. It would not change it for every member; simply change it to your own liking. There could be Original Recipe, Bright and Vibrant, etc.

Don't tease the octopus kids!

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I am actually looking at a site overhaul in the near future. So, I will be paying lots of attention to any suggestions you all have. Please mark a post with an actual suggestion with a BIG YELLOW MARKER so I can see it without needing to wade through all the extra spam.

Shoutbox would be good.

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Sadly, my big yellow marker merely leaves streaks on my screen as opposed to marking the text on the thread.

Don't tease the octopus kids!

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rey meustrus @ Apr 30 2010, 04:54 PM wrote:

I am actually looking at a site overhaul in the near future. So, I will be paying lots of attention to any suggestions you all have. Please mark a post with an actual suggestion with a BIG YELLOW MARKER so I can see it without needing to wade through all the extra spam.

Shoutbox would be good.

is it possiable i can just use a picture off of google images as a smiley??

Current Pokemon games:

1.Pokemon Emerald

2.Pokemon Sapphire

3.Pokemon Firered

4.Pokemon XD

5.Pokemon Collesum

6.Pokemon Yellow

7.Pokemon Gold(not Heartgold, The original gold game pack!)

8.Pokemon Pearl

Kyogre

Groundon

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Actually, if you right click an image and pick "copy image location" and then paste it between image tags...

[img] link here [/img]

...you should be able to.

Like this.

Trent saw you naked.

Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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well I believe I did cover all I wanted to possibly update.

but if we cannot deny normal downloads, what could we add as store content (if ever had one.)


The project still lives!

SPAMHUNTER SCORE: A+
KILLS: 22 DEATHS: 0 CRITICALS: 2 = TOTAL KILLS: 23

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Things for profiles you can unlock, perhaps? Such as the ability to put a Youtube video or more pictures in? Or a box where people can leave you notes on it. Orrr...more layout edits for the site background itself. Browser games for the forums. The ability to put your score ON the browser games up for others to see. Perhaps a signature limit can be put in place, as well, so one can buy an increase from the shop with it...

EDIT: Or a new Smiley pack!

Trent saw you naked.

Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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You forgot your BIG YELLOW MARKER!

As I believe someone has posted before, a box on the side, where you can just have a chat with people online, because replying through the forums does take a bit of time...

Aww, I screwed up my profile pic... Frown
I'll fix it when I come back from church Wink

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Yes, a store would've been awsome.

And I remeber the Inq; I was honored when he quoted me Laugh Laugh Laugh

And maybe we could sell special fonts and text effects and other goodies when it comes to posting in the store?

Kudos to Seth for coining the new-most used word on the forums recently: Batshit insane
Kudos to R.A.V. for starting the spambot war
Kudos to CSC for achiveing super admin
Kudos to Egg for actually helping people
Kudos to Karl for an awsome profile pic
An

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[BIG YELLOW MARKER]

Town Store like in the old days complete with a bank for depositing points and earning interest
Shout box (would really help to keep the boards clean of random posts)
Updated RPG Chronicles
An updated resource database (I don't know how easy it is to re-organize the resource pages, but maybe gathering a bunch of resources from folks who have a lot like myself and Seth and then putting it all up on the Palace in a way that makes searching easier, i.e. search by resource type, name, creator, key words like "female human" or "green monster")

[/BIG YELLOW MARKER]

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I like the database idea. Also links to sites with good resources and contact information for our forum "Bytesmiths" as I like to call them (basically people with the time and skill to make custom resources)

Kudos to Seth for coining the new-most used word on the forums recently: Batshit insane
Kudos to R.A.V. for starting the spambot war
Kudos to CSC for achiveing super admin
Kudos to Egg for actually helping people
Kudos to Karl for an awsome profile pic
An

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It looks like a shoutbox is quite popular - I think with our current memberbase, and our propensity to go wildy off-topic and have indepth discussions about nothing in particular, a shoutbox would fit in right as rain.

I was never overly fond of having a Store system - I dislike the idea of restricting people's abilities to post until they have a specific number of points/money/whatever. Back in the day this also encouraged people to post utter rubbish solely to acquire more points. I do agree that if the rewards from the store were things that didn't impact directly upon the ability to manage your account and post topics, e.g. the ability to have your name in a different colour or to have a cuatom title/title selected from a list, then it would be fine.

An update to the RPG Town Chronicles is well overdue! I'll have to get my thinking/historian cap on.

I think an overhaul of the main website is also rather overdue, though this is obviously easier said than done. The main things I've spotted are:

A rejigging of the resource database/system, as has been suggested: I like the way that the database is set up, promoting quality over quantity, though the ability to search would be nice. Browsing through the pages is awkward, so an improved navigation system (even if it's just left and right arrows to move onto the other pages) would work wonders.

A modified submission system: a lot of the submissions in both the resources and the games are poor: no screenshots, poorly worded, little or no description of the contents, and so on. I don't know if much can be done about the descriptions, short of disabling user-based submission, but if it is possible to require at least one screenshot and a minimum 100 word description or something of that sort, then it might help.

A revamp of the Articles and Reviews pages; one has been temporarily offline for a while, and the other leads to a broken link. The success of these pages of course is entirely dependent upon people contributing articles and reviews; again easier said than done(!) but I'd be happy to write a few, and would certainly be willing to edit. I'll also chuck in the idea of a page for fiction/creative endeavours; again this is dependent on people's contributions, and I'm not sure if it would be entirely necessary, but may be worth consideration.

A new [sub]forum for the discussion of RPG Maker/non-commercial projects that aren't your own, or an extension of the existing forum: I think this has been an issue several times in the recent past: if you want help with Legion Saga or ABL, or you want people to recommend good RM2K games, where on earth do you post? A revision of the forum description may be preferable: I think at this stage we want to avoid creating new forums.

Other than that, the most significant suggestion is a reappraisal of the direction of the site and forum: what is the purpose of the website? How healthy is the RPG Maker community at the moment/what is happening within the community in general - how do we fit into that? Are there other game makers that people use? These are questions I don't really know the answer to, but I'm throwing these out there as food for thought.

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Chickensoupcheese @ May 2 2010, 08:47 AM wrote:

Are there other game makers that people use?

Myself, I use all the RPG Makers when helping people, and XP when I'm playing around with new ideas. But I also use Game Maker and every once in a while I use Engine001, but I haven't done a whole lot with that program. It might also be worth mentioning that Stencyl is soon to be released to the general public. I've been waiting over two years for it, so when it comes out of private beta I will be spending a lot of time becoming acquainted with it. If it's as good as they say it is (which is doubtful) then it may just blow RPG Maker out of the water.

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These are all very good ideas, and I will definitely try to get them implemented. But, I am planning to move away from Invision Power Board, and for that matter all software we're currently using on the site (including the Downloads system that I put together) in favor of Drupal.

In case nobody's heard of Drupal, it is a free open-source Content Management Framework, which is set up to handle just about anything from news to blogs to forums. It can be expanded with community-maintained modules, including an image gallery or a store or a shoutbox.

I will be trying to talk to Maxy about this and seeing if we need to switch to a different host. I don't know what Maxy's up to, but since they haven't been around they might not be enjoying paying for the site. As part of this I may start paying for the site myself.

Once we start making the transition, I'm going to ask some of you to try out the new site and see how it is while I'm trying to convert the IPB forum data into Drupal. If there are problems with the conversion I may also install a temporary phpBB forum to troubleshoot (as there is no upgrade path from IPB to Drupal, but there is from IPB to phpBB and then phpBB to Drupal).

When we get close to the change, I'd like us all to go around and advertise to the community. It's going to be more than a software change, it will be an attitude change. Here are some ideas for what we could do with RPG Palace:

  • Focus on support. We'll all be patient and responsive with newbies who want to know how to work with RPG Maker. We must be willing to answer the same question hundreds of times because it's been proven that newbies are more likely to ask a question than search for the solution first.
  • Work on several short community games with simple goals and no prerequisite skill. They would be opportunities to learn different skills, not to come together and build something epic.
  • Continue work on the big community game, by invitation. I want anticipation to build so that everyone wants to work on it, and I want the smaller community games to be an opportunity to build the skills necessary.
  • Build up some community that is not based on RPG Maker. I'd like to see more stuff like the Wolf Hunt and other forum games (something similar to the Spam Hunt, but without uncontrollable spam because it will be a thing of the past!)
  • Over time I would like to find talented people and build them workshops to help to spread their talent around and teach other people how to do the same things that they can.

If anyone has any ideas, don't forget the BIG YELLOW MARKER! (I had not realized how funny that would be Sticking Out Tongue )[/]

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That sounds spectacular. :Drool:

Kudos to Seth for coining the new-most used word on the forums recently: Batshit insane
Kudos to R.A.V. for starting the spambot war
Kudos to CSC for achiveing super admin
Kudos to Egg for actually helping people
Kudos to Karl for an awsome profile pic
An

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Damn straight it does. I get paid good money now to do this kind of stuff so I'm pretty good at it Wink

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:Drool: .....

ily, Meu. :lol3:

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This sounds absolutely terrific! What sort of things can we do now to help? I like the idea of the small community games. Anything in particular we should be shooting for as far as the style/genre of games? I think I may PM a few people and see if they aren't already busy with their own projects, to brainstorm ideas for these games.

And Meu, if Maxy no longer wants to continue paying for the site, I am all too willing to help take on that burden, and a lot of other folks around here seem to really want a way to donate, too.

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If I get commissions soon, I'd be more than happy to donate a bit towards the forum!

Trent saw you naked.

Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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I can say that I've already figured out how to do a bunch of things in Drupal:

Forums
Image gallery
Shoutbox
IRC
Individual blogs

I'm afraid that Drupal is very complicated, but it is my goal to make none of that complication affect any of you. This will mean, however, that anybody that helps to administer the site won't necessarily gain experience with Drupal as a whole, but with our particular configuration.

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Hey, I was just thinking, when you mentioned that we would have to be patient and professional when helping out new folks who ask age old questions before first searching the forums for the answers, what if we added a button that would basically let them e-mail one of us directly with their question. The main benefit to this I see would be that the forums could potentially be kept clear of the same questions being asked repeatedly. Just a thought. Trying to think of interesting new ways to improve the site.

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I see an issue with that...

Spam emails with viruses and other things like it...

Trent saw you naked.

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True.
what if we went with a FAQ (frequently Asked Questions) box

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It would not be best to target individual users because one is more likely to be responded to quickly if one can ask the question of everyone.

I had an idea, though. What if a brand-new member could only post in one forum, a "Newbies" forum, where there are welcome threads, support topics, etc. There would be some facility for established members of the greater community to get their project topics moved to a better place, but overall the effect would be that the Newbies board has a lot of random stuff, lots of funny community building, and lots of stupid questions. The newbies won't feel alone. When they start getting higher post counts, maybe there could be a window that pops up every time they have "unlocked" new permissions, like viewing and posting in extra forums.

It would be a lot more work to figure this out, but I think it would be worth it.

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That's a great idea, meu! I like the idea of pop-up messages telling them they've unlocked some type of "achievement"...hehe it's like EQ2...which I'm playing right now...

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Hmm. That'd make it easier to track down spam, too, as people with no post history can only post in one place...

Trent saw you naked.

Need resources? Drop me a line! If I don't have it, I can likely find it!

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I think it's rather limiting to those experts that only sign up to show off games. Sure, many hate them, but nonetheless they are important to the community...

Kudos to Seth for coining the new-most used word on the forums recently: Batshit insane
Kudos to R.A.V. for starting the spambot war
Kudos to CSC for achiveing super admin
Kudos to Egg for actually helping people
Kudos to Karl for an awsome profile pic
An

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...that is a good point. o__o; Rrrgh.

Trent saw you naked.

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I thought of those people, and I figure that they're experienced enough in the internet that if I put up a FAQ somewhere visible that says "If you have content to post but you don't want to become part of the community first, PM the administrator and your topic will be moved to the correct place and your account will be promoted."

(which, by the way, I forgot to mention I got private messaging installed too)

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