Halopedia:Why create an account?
You do not have to log in to read Halopedia. You don't even have to log in to edit articles—anyone can edit almost any article, even without logging in. Nevertheless, creating an account is quick, free and non-intrusive, and it is generally considered a good idea to do so for a variety of reasons. For those out there who are interested in creating an account to assist Halopedia in being the best information database of the Halo series, we here as the community of Halopedia greatly encourage you to join us!
Note: To create a user account for Halopedia, go to the sign-up page.
When an account is created, you get to chose a username for yourself as long as it is available and unique. All of the edits that you make on that account will be assigned to that name, meaning that you get full credit for your contributions in the page history. To view your contributions, you can click on the "Contributions" link at the top of your profile when you are logged in.
You can have your own userpage to write a bit about yourself. While Halopedia is not a homepage provider, you can use this to write about your hobbies, display a picture, and so on. User pages are often used by users to maintain a list of articles that they have created or contributed to that they are proud of, or to collect valuable information from the wiki.
You will also have your own user talk page that you can use to communicate with other users. Whenever someone leaves a message or edits your talk page, you will receive a notification at the top of every page of Halopedia. In addition to the talk page, other users will be able to contact you via e-mail if one is provided. This feature is anonymous; the user who e-mails you will not know your e-mail address until you respond.
Reputation and privacy
You do not need to reveal your real life identity, but having an account gives you a fixed Halopedia identity that other users will recognize. There are many benefits to building a reputation for yourself as a logged-in user. As the number of edits grow and you make yourself known in the community, the other users grow to trust and respect you, and you will probably make some friends along the way. You can also work with other users on big editing projects and participate in policy discussions.
Additionally, some people believe that anonymity is synonymous with a lack of accountability, or may facilitate unproductive behavior. Others feel that contributing without a fixed identity is dis-empowering and unpleasant. The necessity of creating an account to edit this wiki avoids both potential pitfalls.
New editing options
There are many features of the MediaWiki software (which powers Halopedia) that are only available to registered users. As well as editing, users can upload images and move pages, a feature that is very important to maintain structure and consistency on the wiki.
One very important feature which active contributors will likely use a lot are watchlists. You will get a new Watch this page link on every page you view. If you click that link, a page will be added to your watchlist. This list is basically a filtered view of the "Recent changes" page which only shows changes recently made to items in your watchlist. This way you can keep track of pages you work on without having to follow all changes.
Many user preferences
Aside from these features, you can customize the way MediaWiki behaves in great detail. You can change the entire appearance of the website by picking, for example, the previous "MonoBook" skin over the new default "Nimbus" skin, you can choose how you want mathematical formula to be displayed, whether links should be underlined, how large the editing box should be, how many pages should be displayed in "Recent changes", and much more. You can even set your preferred date format, and articles will display dates according to your preference.
Sysops can delete and undelete pages, protect them from being edited, edit protected pages, check IP addresses and block users for violation of our policies. Bureaucrats can do all of this, as well as rename users and promote or demote people from these ranks. Collectively known as the administrators, these users create and enforce policies, and are key to maintaining the wiki by double-checking the quality of edits, deleting unwanted pages, quelling arguments between users, and putting a stop to trolling and vandalism.
Once you have been a registered user for a while, you may even be promoted and join the ranks of Halopedia's administrative team. See here for more information about what it takes to become an administrator.
Voting, elections, polls and discussions
Anyone can comment on talk page discussions or proposals whether logged-in or not, but your opinion may be given more weight if it is attributed to a fixed identity with a record of sensible commentary and informed edits. Only registered users can create or vote on proposals and featured article nominations and any elections that arise.