Making the Most of Discourse

Making the Most of Discourse

Our forums are run by the open source discussion platform known as Discourse. Compared to the existing competition, Discourse is absolutely packed with features, but with that can come a small learning curve. I’ve put together this guide to help users identify things that are familiar versus things that are new, and how we in Argo especially will be using Discourse to its absolute fullest capabilities.

If you are an older member who is joining us after originally using the old Enjin-based forum website, welcome! Please review this news post, Enjin → Discourse Transition Information for specific information on how to make the leap.

Basic Discourse Glossary


A person who has created an account on the site and therefore has access to post here on the forums. Account creation is open to everyone, however access to posting is limited to only a couple categories if the user is not a member of the Argo Members Group on the site.


A single response on any given topic. Our particular install of Discourse will accept several different forms of markup (formatting code) to make your posts look interesting, including:

Markdown: e.g. _underscores to emphasize_, # for header level 1, ## for header level 2, * for bulletpoints

bbCode: e.g. [color=red] [/color], [font=Fjalla One] [/font]

HTML: e.g. <abbr> </abbr>, <dl><dt></dt><dd></dd></dl>

Fortunately the post previewer is extremely helpful (as well as 99% accurate) in helping you see what your post is going to look like ahead of time. Just about any code you were used to doing in Enjin and most likely on any other forum will work here, as well as a number of new things you may want to experiment with.

Argo post templates will often use a mix of all of these types of markup.


In more common forum parlance, a Topic is simply Discourse’s term for a Thread.


Instead of ‘forums’, Discourse exclusively uses Categories to organize topics. As we use them, certain categories will come with their own templates that will automatically load when you create a new topic in that particular Category (i.e. Mission Briefs, Communications, and Reports).

You are not required to use these templates as is, but they are recommended if you’d like to keep your post looking uniform with the rest, and sometimes they are useful for just reminding you what information would be good to include.


Like all modern web applications, Discourse allows you to easily nag notify a fellow forum user about a post that might be interesting to them and/or need their attention. This is known as a mention, which is triggered by typing the @ sign, followed by your target’s username.

If you’re not sure which user a particular character might belong to, try looking up that character on the roster and checking their profile! All of the user information is accessible in the Meta information section underneath the character portrait.


Tags are Discourse’s version of #hashtags, which further help to organize topics and give us the ability to quickly locate content that shares certain similar traits. A full list of all the tags is available here and we’re happy to create more if you feel something is missing. (Please request over #suggestions in the Discord server.)


Groups are the equivalent of ‘Roles’, as they’re found in Discord. These give us the ability to organize users according to different parameters.

We are making substantial use of Groups on this site, including the ability to group users according to their characters’ IC roles within the fleet. This means you can @mention IC groups in your communication posts and notifications will be sent accordingly to those users, so you don’t have to individually mention each of them!

A full list of all the groups is available here.


Discourse comes with a “Trust Level” system built in which monitors user activity and grants additional permissions to users with more regular activity. (You may see Discourse send you a notification when you reach certain thresholds.)

For the most part this should not impact your forum experience. However, the highest trust level available to regular users is Trust Level 3 and this level can be lost (and re-gained, of course) if a user does not maintain regular visitation habits to the site. We are still evaluating how Trust Levels will play into our normal evaluation of player inactivity, if at all.

For more information on Discourse Trust Levels, please check out this official Discourse guide. Please be aware that the guide delineates the default settings of trust levels and while we haven’t deviated very much here, there have been some adjustments made.


Other Major Features


This feature is accessed while composing a post/reply. Click on the cogwheel icon above the editing window and select ‘Canned Replies’. This will allow you to access a pre-made menu of templates that are most frequently used.

Table of

This feature is accessed while composing a New Topic. Click on the cogwheel icon above the editing window and select ‘Insert Table of Contents’. This will attempt to create a table of contents window that will show up along the side of your post and allow people to skip around in your article.

Please note that the table of contents is dependent on your post utilizing headers to properly generate. e.g.

# This is my title.
## This is a subtitle
This is an introduction to a subtopic of my article.
### Here is a subtitle for my subtopic.


This is a custom-written plugin that manages the Roster and Character Profile system. Characters are entered into a database where every character is tied to a forum user’s account directly. A user may then access the My Characters tab of the Character Coordinator tool and edit their character’s profile information.

You can access the Character Coordinator by clicking on the dropdown menu next to your profile picture in the top right of the site. My Characters should be near the bottom left.

A formatting guide is available to assist with certain sections of the profile, if you’d like help with making it really pretty!


This is another custom-written plugin that gives users the ability to tag topics that they are not the author of. This tool is intended to give all users more power to tag materials on which they think their characters belong, as well as giving us the ability to tag topics that are historical/imported.

Open Tagging is currently available only on most of the IC-related categories (Subspace Network, Holodeck, Databank).

To access this tool, you must be viewing a topic and you must be scrolled to the first post. A blue “Tags” icon will appear after the category listing underneath the main topic title (and also after any tags that might already exist). Clicking this icon will open the tag chooser interface and allow you to select or remove tags as necessary.


Discourse gives us the ability to designate certain posts as ‘wikiposts’, which allows any user to edit the post, regardless of the original author. This allows us to have posts and topics in which we are communally responsible for the content.

In order to designate one of your posts as a wikipost, click on the ellipsis (...) on a published post and then select the wrench icon. One of the listed options should be Make Wiki. (This is only available after reaching Trust Level 2.)

To see an example of a wikipost, please check out Civilian establishments aboard DS13.

Inbound Link

Discourse topics are especially smart! If a topic notices that a post somewhere else in the forums is linking to it, Discourse will automatically keep track of it in a links list that appears at the bottom of the first post in the topic.

Use this to your advantage if you’re referencing event posts, AAR posts and communications!