This page contains a collection of the answers to several questions related to Halo Alpha, which are asked frequently. If you have a question that is not covered by this page, please feel free to ask a member of the Halo Alpha staff, who would be happy to help you.
What is Halo Alpha?
Halo Alpha is a fan website dedicated to the Halo franchise. First and foremost, Halo Alpha is a wiki which aims to document everything there is to know about the Halo franchise and its vast universe. However, it is also home to a small community of Halo fans, who frequent the Blogs, Forum and Discord server.
Halo Alpha is completely run by a dedicated team of Halo fans, and anybody with an interest in the franchise is welcome to join our community and help out. Halo Alpha is hosted by FANDOM (previously known as Wikia), and is not affiliated with Microsoft in any way.
What is a wiki?
- Main article: What is a Wiki?
A wiki is essentially an online encyclopedia which is dedicated to a single, specific topic. However, there is one major difference between an encyclopedia and a wiki, which is that a wiki can be edited, for free, by anyone. Wikis are written and maintained by fans of the wiki's topic, and are intended as a free resource for any person seeking reliable information on the subject.
What are the rules on Halo Alpha?
In order to maintain a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, Halo Alpha has a set of policies that must be followed by users of the website. A list of these policies can be found here. These rules and policies are enforced by Halo Alpha staff, and breaking them may result in disciplinary action.
How do I earn a rank on Halo Alpha?
- Main article: Rank Structure
In order to attain a rank on Halo Alpha, you must first meet the requirements for that rank, and then have a successful nomination. The requirements for each rank differ, and can be found on the respective rank's page. Pestering Halo Alpha staff to grant you a rank will not get you anywhere, as no users have the authority to hand out ranks on a whim. For more information on this topic, please see the Rank Structure page, and its section on attaining ranks.
I have a suggestion. Where can I post it?
You can post suggestions in the Forums or on the Discord server, both of which have a Wiki Discussion area to discuss suggestions or improvements to the wiki. In addition, the Halo Alpha Administration would be happy to hear you out. A list of Administrators can be found here.
What is Halo?
- Main article: Halo franchise
Halo is a long-running and popular video game franchise, which began in 2001 with the release of Halo: The Fall of Reach on October 30, and more notably Halo: Combat Evolved two weeks later. Halo is often considered the "killer app" of the Xbox family of consoles, and Halo: CE and Halo 2 are known as the games which launched the Xbox and Xbox Live, respectively. The Halo games have had a profound impact on the video game industry, being credited with popularising features such as regenerating health and multiplayer matchmaking, as well as influencing popular culture as a whole, with characters such as the Master Chief and Cortana becoming widely-known icons.
Although primarily a video game franchise, the Halo franchise has also spread into several other mediums, including almost two dozen novels, two anthologies, several comics, two feature-length live-action films and two animated series.
What age range is Halo, and hence Halo Alpha, suitable for?
- Main article: Information for Parents
Video games in the Halo franchise have been rated M (Mature) and T (Teen) by the ESRB. Additionally, Halo media has covered topics such as rape, murder and genocide. As a result, the franchise is not suitable for younger audiences. If you are a parent considering purchasing a Halo game for your child, we would advise first checking its ESRB rating, which should help you to judge whether it is appropriate for your child.
Furthermore, Halo Alpha does not censor information on potentially sensitive topics, as it would compromise our ability to be a comprehensive database of Halo information. As a result, it is advised that no users below the age of 13 should use the site, and that parents should prevent their children from accessing Halo Alpha if they do not believe it is appropriate for their child.
I need help editing. Where can I find it?
Halo Alpha hosts a collection of pages dedicated to helping new contributors get to grips with the editing tools available on wikis hosted by FANDOM. An organised list of these pages can be found here. In addition, please read our Manual of Style before contributing, to make sure that your edits will fit in with the way the wiki is written.
If the help pages don't contain the guidance you need, a member of the Halo Alpha staff would be happy to assist you.
Which editor should I use?
On PCs, FANDOM offers two different editing suites for its wikis: VisualEditor and the source editor. Which you'd prefer to use is entirely up to you. VisualEditor is somewhat easier to use, while the source editor allows for much more precise control of the wikitext and syntax of a page. It should be noted that the VisualEditor cannot be used to edit templates, and that most of the Halo Alpha staff exclusively use the source editor.
Meanwhile, for mobile users, there is only one editor available, the mobile editor. In most respects, the mobile editor is identical to the source editor, the only notable differences being that the mobile editor can only edit individual sections at a time, and cannot preview the page before publishing changes. In addition to the mobile editor, users on mobile devices can use the two editors available to users on computers, by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and pressing the "View Full Site" link. That will load the page as it appears on PCs, allowing the VisualEditor and source editor to be used. However, this is not advised, as using these editors on a mobile device can be extremely finicky.
Can I copy information from another site or source?
In general, no. Copying information word-for-word from any source of Halo information, official or fan-made, is not allowed on Halo Alpha, and any information found to be copied from another source will be removed. Passages from official sources can be quoted, but not outright copied - the difference being that quotes are placed within quotation marks and the origin of the quote is cited. Quoting unofficial, fan-made sources (such as articles from wikis) is not permitted.
What's wrong with making several edits to a page in a short period of time?
Making many edits to the same page in a short timeframe is discouraged on Halo Alpha, because it makes it difficult for other users to make changes to the same page concurrently. Whenever a user tries to submit an edit to a page that has been changed since they began making their edit, they are forced to re-write that edit in order to reconcile it with the changes made while they were editing.
As a result of this, we encourage users not to make too many edits to a single page in a short period of time, so that other users aren't forced to suffer this inconvenience. Instead, please use the "Preview" button to check how your edits will appear, before submitting them.
Why was my edit reverted?
If your edit has been reverted and you aren't sure why, please first check if the user who undid it has explained why themselves, whether on the edit description (which can be viewed in the page's history) or via your message wall. It is likely that it either was non-canonical, unsourced or did not meet our Manual of Style. After this, if you haven't been able to find a reason why your edit was undone, contact the user directly about it. However, be civil and do not be hostile, lest you cause an argument - the user who reverted your edit likely was doing what they thought was best for the wiki, just like you were.
If you disagree with the reason given, please contact a member of the Halo Alpha staff to discuss it with, rather than simply reinstating your edit, which could cause what is known as an edit war - where two or more users repeatedly edit a page, each user trying to force the page to remain the way that they prefer it.
How do I upload an image?
Images can be added to the wiki via the upload an image page, which is also linked in the Toolbox section of the sidebar. Halo Alpha recommends using the PNG file format for still images, and the GIF format for short animated clips. Please fully read and adhere to the Image Policy before uploading any images, and note that images that do not follow the policy are liable to be deleted.
What rules are in place for communication between Halo Alpha users?
The Chat Policy is in effect on all channels of communication on Halo Alpha. It should be followed at all times while talking to other users, in order to ensure all communication is friendly and prevent disputes. The Chat Policy is enforced by Halo Alpha staff.
What is Discord?
- Main article: Discord
Discord is a free service that allows gamers to communicate with one another via text or voice chat. Halo Alpha has its own Discord server so that members of our community can get to know each other. Anyone is welcome to join the Halo Alpha Discord, and an invitation can be found here.
What are Talk Pages?
Talk pages are a method of communication between users. They are laid out in the same way as normal pages, except rather than providing information on a particular subject, they are used for communication. The standard convention is to indent each message one level more than the message it is replying to, in order to clearly show the order of messages. In addition, any messages posted to a talk page must be signed by the user (by pasting
~~~~ at the end of the message) in order to show others who posted the message.
What are the Forums and Message Walls?
Forums are a mode of communication which allows the Halo Alpha community to discuss anything related to Halo or the wiki. Meanwhile, message walls are a means of directly contacting a user about any topic. Message walls and the forums are divided into individual threads on different topics. New threads are created by making a new post on the Forums or when using the "post a new message" form on a user's message wall. You can follow a forum thread by clicking the "Follow" button in the top right of the first post, and this will notify you whenever someone makes a new post to that thread. Unlike talk pages, the forums and message walls show who wrote each message, and so signing posts is not required.
What is Halopedia, and why are there two major Halo wikis?
Halopedia, like Halo Alpha, is a wiki dedicated to documenting the Halo franchise and universe. Although the specifics of some policies on the sites may be different, in general the aims of both wikis are the same: to provide readers with detailed and accurate information on everything related to Halo.
The history of the two wikis is a long and complex one. Halopedia was first founded in 2004, when it was known as Halo Wiki. It was renamed as Halopedia shortly after its creation, and also changed its domain to halopedia.org to match. Meanwhile Halo Alpha (halo.wikia.com) was founded in 2005 by the user Akashe, and was also initially known simply as Halo Wiki. In the summer of 2006, Halopedia began running into problems funding their site, which eventually resulted in Halopedia merging with Halo Wiki, which did not face the same problems due to the fact it was hosted for free by Wikia (the company now known as FANDOM). The product of this merger retained the name of Halopedia.
The two wikis remained the same until 2010, when Wikia announced plans to introduce a mandatory new skin for all wikis, called Oasis. This decision was unpopular with many users of Halopedia at the time and so a referendum was held in October of that year on whether Halopedia should return to its original independent domain. The community voted in favour of the idea, and so Halopedia was moved accordingly. However, Wikia were not content with allowing a wiki they hosted to simply redirect off-site or be deleted, and in addition, a portion of the community did not want to leave. As a result, Halo Nation was formed, from the remaining content and community members on halo.wikia.com.
This is the reason why so many of the pre-2010 pages on Halo Alpha and Halopedia are similar or identical to one another - because at one point in time, they were the very same page. It is not due to copying of content from Halopedia, which is strictly forbidden on Halo Alpha.
What is Halo Alpha's relationship with Halopedia like?
The Halo Alpha administration is on good terms with the staff of Halopedia, and vice versa. Although there have been isolated incidents between individual users in the past, this is not indicative of any hostilities between the sites themselves. It is the firm belief of both wikis' administrations that the idea of a rivalry between Halo Alpha and Halopedia is counter-productive and petty.
If a user, on the premise of some perceived animosity between the wikis, performs acts of vandalism or harassment against Halopedia or its users and claims them to be in the name of Halo Alpha, the user will be punished according to our policy on the matter. Halo Alpha discourages and condemns this sort of behaviour, as it has the potential to harm the site's amicable relationship with Halopedia, as well as Halo Alpha's reputation elsewhere. Halopedia follows a similar mindset which can be viewed here.
What is Halo Answers?
- Main article: Halo Answers: About
Halo Answers is another Halo wiki, also run by the Halo Alpha administration. However, unlike Halo Alpha, Halo Answers doesn't aim to document every aspect of the Halo franchise; instead, its purpose is to answer questions about the franchise. Anybody can pose questions to the Halo Answers community and likewise, anyone can answer them. For more information on Halo Answers, please visit the wiki itself.
What is Halo Fanon?
- Main article: Halo Fanon: About
Halo Fanon is a wiki which aims to allow users to create and document their own unofficial expansions to the Halo universe, provided they are canon-friendly. These can be in the form of fan-fictions, ideas for Halo games or even simply articles about fan-made content. Like Halo Alpha, Halo Fanon is hosted by FANDOM. However, it is not run by Halo Alpha staff, and any issues with the site should be taken to its administrators.
Although the wikis are not officially linked in any capacity, Halo Alpha recommends that any users who intend on writing fan-fiction do so on Halo Fanon rather than Halo Alpha, as any fan-fiction added to articles here will be removed without warning, as per our Canon Policy.
My question wasn't answered. Where else can I ask it?
As stated in the introduction, if your question is not answered by this page, you are welcome to contact a member of the Halo Alpha staff, who would be happy to help you.