ActiveWorlds Basics. For new users who don't have time to read the entire ActiveWorlds help files.
If you know of a new user, give them the url to this page. Hopefully no one will have a problem with it. This page has been arranged to help you in a progressive manner starting from the very basics to more advanced subjects.
Important note: The last I checked, AW has decided that tourists should be restricted to only a few worlds like AWGate, so many things on this page and others may not apply to them. I'm not going to change the wording because I'm not sure if ActiveWorlds is going to keep restricting the tourists to only a few worlds or will eventually change their minds and allow tourists to roam freely again.
Please understand, that I no longer recommend ActiveWorlds to people in real life or on-line. I currently do an honest review of the main 3D chat programs, comparing prices, number of users, cost of worlds, how many worlds in each program, and so on, but ActiveWorlds is near the bottom of the list.
For those who wish to contact me, try coming to my world, This Is It. And no, it's not in that hell, ActiveWorlds! Thank the gods! Or, to quote someone I have a growing respect for: "Thank God almighty, I'm free at last!"
Your first steps...
For the absolute beginners, here's what you need to know first! As you'll no doubt realize, a lot of Gatekeepers say basically the same things that're on this page, but there are some changes in the following, and I've given a bit more detail in some spots for better clarification. If you're already an experienced ActiveWorlds user, you can skip this and go back to the main AW page, or read through it if you need a review of the basics.
Most important: Relax! This program isn't that hard to use, and you'll quickly get the hang of it. If you were able to learn how to eat or ride a bicycle, this is easier. And unlike the latter, you're not going to get bruises or broken bones if you mess up! LOL
Black trangles when you first enter a world: If you are seeing little triangles, please be patient while everything downloads. Those little traingles are usually people or objects like buildings. The first time you go to a world, it may take a few seconds to minutes to load everything depending upon the type of connection you have with the Internet.
How to move: Anytime you want to move, you should click in the picture window where you see people or buildings (or whatever) to make sure it's selected, then use the direction arrows on your keypad to move. Best thing to click on is the ground or the sky. If you try to click anywhere else, you may activate something like a teleport, a song file, or even make a page open up beside your picture window. Most of the things you see don't do that sort of thing, but some objects do. In the newer versions of ActiveWorlds, you'll see a hand when you put your mouse over an object that has a link on it or does an action in ActiveWorlds like a teleport.
To move faster: Wanna run and you feel a need for speed? Hold down the Ctrl key while moving using the direction keys on your keyboard. Thankfully, there aren't any speed limits in ActiveWorlds (yet. Please don't give them ideas?), so it's kind of fun to go running down a street in some worlds.
If you're stuck and you can't move: In AWGate or JunoDome you can't move through things by using the shift key and a direction arrow key to get un-stuck, but in most other worlds you can. If you're in one of the worlds where they won't let you, you'll have to go somewhere else then return. Just left click on one of the red worlds in the world list (if you don't see the world list, hit the F9 key on your keyboard and select the Worlds tab). It probably won't let you in, so you'll be told that, and sent back to where you were. This is usually called 'bouncing' and is also sometimes used when a world doesn't want to load. If you don't want to open up the worlds list, you can just click on "Teleport" at the top of your screen, then click on "to" and then just click "ok".
Flying: In some worlds, you can fly! To 'fly', make sure you have the picture window selected by clicking in it, then use the + key on your number pad. To go down, use the - key on the number pad. Happy landings!
To see yourself: You can see what you look like by clicking on the little camera button near the top of your screen, then the 'Turn' action button. But sometimes there's no turn button, so you have to be content with looking at your back. In version 3.4 and up, they had one of the camera / third person view settings so you could see yourself from the front.
Changing your appearance: To change your avatar, you can click on the word Avatar near the top of your screen, then select from the choices there. Tourists get only two choices, whereas registered citizens can sometimes have over a hundred avatars to choose from in some worlds.
Actions: Want to dance, wave, jump, or just do a little jig? Then try one of the action buttons while in the camera / third person view.
When chatting, use their names in a busy chat so they know you're talking to them: If you want to say something to someone, help them to realize you're talking to them by saying their name first, or in the sentence you type to them. That helps to eliminate confusion, especially in a busy area. Obviously, if you're in an area with only one other person in it, you don't really need to do this.
Blue words are whispers: Blue words in the scrolling chat text box means that someone is whispering to you. If you're a tourist in AWGate and other worlds where you're not allowed to whisper to people, you cannot whisper back to them. However, in most other worlds, you can. If you don't want to listen to the person whispering to you, you can mute them.
Muting people you don't want to hear: To 'Mute' someone that is bothering you, right click on their avatar with your mouse and click 'Mute'. Or, you can right-click on their name in the chat window and select 'Mute' there.
Shouting by using all caps: If you use all capital letters in your words, some users may consider it shouting and take offense. Make sure your Caps Lock is turned off. Most people only use caps for an entire word for emphasis, but rarely for an entire sentence.
Flooding the chat could get you ejected: You can also get ejected for 'flooding' the chat in certain worlds (like AWGate) by typing in a bunch of stuff too fast, or hitting the Enter key too much in a certain amount of time in certain worlds like AWGate and other worlds where there are bots who are told to eject for it. It's important not to say 'scrolling' because it confuses some of the new users who think that when they scroll back in the text, it does the same thing to everyone else's chat text.
Conduct and ratings: The world AWGate is G rated, and a lot of kids go there because it's the default first loading world for their ActiveWorlds browser. It isn't the place for profanity, harassment, debates, discussing adult worlds or anything similar. Please show respect. JunoDome is very similar, but is PG rated. You can get away with a little more stuff, but if you cuss, you're probably going to get ejected, so try to act nice.
World rules: Best way to find out what's okay and what's not in AWGate is to say world rules. The bot should tell you the basics or where to find info. This also sometimes works in other worlds. If it fails, try looking at the world's page by selecting Show then Web.
Impersonations: Don't want to be impersonated? Then be sure you don't have capital i's or lower case L's in your name. If you use one, someone can use the other and impersonate you. This is why you frequently see people with capital L's in their names in ActiveWorlds so they don't get impersonated. You should also bear in mind that if you're a tourist, the minute you log off, someone else can use the name that you were using. This is important to remember in case someone seems to be confusing you with another person. They've likely had a conversation with another user that was using the same name that you are now.
Impersonations part 2: One other little tidbit on impersonations. It seems that ActiveWorlds allows periods in names so now it's possible to make it look almost like you're another person, but if you look closely at a similar name, you'll probably see the little period at the end of their name right before the : This is especially something that GKs, PKs, world owners and those with eject rights in a world should pay attention to. If someone is causing trouble, right click on the name of the person on the sentence itself that is considered bad and eject them quickly if you're going to before they have a chance to change their names. Either that, or get a bot to eject for certain things in your world. Prestons are probably the easiest to use, and they're free, too. :-) More info on them here.
Enlarging your AW window: To make your AW window bigger, take your cursor and grab one of the bottom corners and drag it to fit your main screen, or just hit the Maximize button. Also click on the word Show near the top of your AW window and uncheck Web if it's checked. This will enlarge the picture window where you see objects and people at.
Simplified browsers: If you're using a 'simplified' browser, the first thing you should do is switch to advanced mode. Then you'll have a lot more stuff you can do!
Juno3Dchat program users: If you're using the Juno3Dchat program and you want to see all the worlds, go to Advanced, select Tabs, then when the tabs open, select the World tab. You can enter the green worlds. Red worlds are private / closed, and you can't enter them unless you're a citizen and someone who can change that world's rights can put your citnumber in the Enter list. But do yourself a favor and finish reading the rest of my ActiveWorlds pages, first!
Teleporting: To teleport, just click on the word Teleport near the top of the screen, then click on the word To... and when the Teleport box opens up, put the world name in the top box, the co-ords (or just leave it empty to go to the GZ, or Ground Zero of the world) in the bottom box, then click OK. This will take you to the place you typed in.
Sorting the world list: You first make sure you have the worlds list up by selecting Show near the top of your screen, then Tabs (either that, or hit (gently, please) the F9 key. That toggles the tabs on and off), and click on the tab that says Worlds. Then after you see the worlds list, you can either click on the little box that says the number of worlds there are and that'll show the worlds in alphabetical order, or, if you click on the little box that says how many users there are, it'll sort it by population showing the most populated worlds near the top of the world list.
Accepting files and giving out info that can be used to contact you: Please do not accept files from anyone you don't know and trust (they could be a hacker) and please do not give out your IP address, ICQ number, e-mail address, telephone number, home address, or any other information in open chat (or whispers) that bad people can use to contact you. Do you truly know what kind of a person you're chatting to is? Just because someone acts nice, it doesn't mean they are nice. It could be an act. Use caution and be safe.
Network Status: If you want to know the status of ActiveWorlds and its servers, the best place to go for information is their Network Status page, located here. However, that page isn't always updated as much as it should be. If you're having problems logging in, maybe you can just wait an hour or so, then try again later. If you still have problems after that, and there's nothing up on the Network Status page, it may be time to write to support for help. Just don't expect a reply. Some of us have sent in reqests for help years ago, and are still waiting for an answer!
Building Tips: Basic building tips can be found here. If you like, you can pass the location out to others who may need it.
Harassment and the peacekeepers: If you're being harrassed, Peacekeeper HQ is located just to the north of GZ in AlphaWorld (AW in the world list). There should be a sign saying which one is on duty, and a mailbox you can click on to send an e-mail. For best results, go to the world AW in your world list, and stand there at the GZ (which is 0N 0W) and shout for a Peacekeeper. If one doesn't answer you, use the mailbox to send them an e-mail. Remember that if they're not in bold in the world AW, they're probably not a PK (Peacekeeper). Like AW support, you shouldn't expect the PKs to reply to e-mails. I for one have waited years for a reply from them after sending in e-mails, and I'm still waiting! Besides, in my experiences with the PKs, I haven't noticed much in the way of fairness, so you really shouldn't count on them.
The ActiveWorlds support page: You can find it at http://www.activeworlds.com/tech/index.asp and it gives links to the FAQ page (http://www.activeworlds.com/help/faq.html), among others.
Cache corruption: If you have problems running ActiveWorlds, or you sometimes see avatars with almost totally white skins or clothing, you can close the program and delete the cache folder and that sometimes helps to straighten it out. But you'll have to re-load all the stuff again when you start ActiveWorlds back up.
ActiveWorlds's on-line help manual: It can be found at http://www.activeworlds.com/help/index.html and you should look through it before you contact them, since a lot of the questions people have can be answered by reading it. And well, based on my own experiences with support, you're unlikely to get a reply from them anyway. To see my experiences with the company AWLD / Activeworlds Corp, read this page.
Content guidelines: They're written out for you at http://www.activeworlds.com/community/terms.asp. Try to read them before you do something you may regret later. Bear in mind that there's a lot of people who save their chat files, so what you say may cause you some embarrassment later on.
Recording / logging your chats and saving them: Go to the top of your ActiveWorlds program window and select Options, then Settings and then click on the Chat tab. In this section, you need to make sure that 'Log chat to file' is checked. After a while (from days to months, depending on how much you use ActiveWorlds and how many chats you get into) you'll need to back up your chats. To do this, open up Windows Explorer and go to your main drive (usually called C:) and create a folder called Backups then one inside of that named Chats, then (if you have more than one chat program) another inside of that named AW. Then close your ActiveWorlds program, go to the folder where you have it installed, open up the chat.txt file (if it's fairly large, it'll probably ask you if you want to use WordPad to open it with so you should do that), see what date it says it starts at, select Save As from the File menu, select Word for Windows 9.0 (or whatever is closest to that. Some of us are using older versions of Windows) as the type of file to save it as, then type in something like Chat from 8-14-2012 to 9-8-2012.rtf (older versions use .doc) and browse to the folder where you want to keep the chats stored in like the one you created earlier. After you've done that, you can close the Chat file, then use Windows Explorer to go back to the folder where you have your ActiveWorlds program installed in and delete the chat.txt file. Then when you re-start AW, it'll simply create a new chat.txt file provided you haven't turned off the chat logging in your settings. You'll need to do this 'backing up thing' once in a while, and how often depends upon how much you use AW and how many chats you get into. If you like, you can just check the chat.txt file's size once in a while and when it gets over 500 KB, it's usually a good time to do it.
Contacting ActiveWorlds: You can e-mail ActiveWorlds at email@example.com for tech support, firstname.lastname@example.org for customer service, email@example.com for billing, and you can e-mail their sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just don't expect a reply or you may be disappointed.
How to register and become a citizen: If you absolutely can't stand being a tourist anymore and have to register, it's probably safer to register through mail with a mail order, then give a fake address and name (usually a good idea to use a common sounding name), just in case some bad people get access to the citizen info in ActiveWorlds (if they haven't already). You won't have to worry about them being able to find you that way, at least. But since it costs $6.95 US per month (which is $83.40 US for a full year), you may want to consider using another 3D chat program. This is a bit on the expensive side, and is the highest fee I've ever heard for a chat program.
Stolen passwords or citizenships: They can be reported by writing an e-mail to email@example.com and they should be able to help you, if they can be bothered to.
Back to CyberWoLfman's ActiveWorlds Experience.