The advanced search feature of this forum is useful, but it's a clunky thing to operate especially for a first-timer. So I've prepared this sort of a how-to for using it and hopefully, after reading my wall of text, you'll be able to:
- Look for threads/posts relevant to your query.
- Make more accurate searches.
- Get +Intel
- Stalk someone's post history.
Before anything else, this is how to access the Advanced Search page:
Alternatively, you can also use this link: http://bbs.evony.com/search.php
Now that we're on the same page, let's start!
We will be referring to the following image for this guide:
SEARCH BY KEYWORD
(1) This is where your search terms will go. They must be relevant to what you're looking for.
Ex. If you're looking for info about "the most effective compact defense ever in the history of Evony", you can use the search terms effective compact defense or even compact defense.
EPIC TIPS: Use Boolean operators and wildcards!
- AND: By default, all search terms with spaces between them are ANDed. Meaning, if you enter "compact defense" in the search box, it will look for posts/titles with BOTH compact AND defense words in them. Typing in compact and defense will yield the same results.
- OR: Will return results with EITHER of the words you entered. (ex. compact or defense)
- AND NOT: Will give results for the word(s) preceding it but not for the word(s) after it. Using a minus sign (-) before the word you want to exclude from the search also works. (ex. compact and not defense OR compact -defense)
- Asterisk (*): Use as a wildcard for single characters within a word. (ex. *awn will return results with words such as "dawn" or "yawn" etc. or words ending in -awn in them)
(2) "Search entire posts" will look for your keywords in the posts (body/content) themselves.
"Search titles only" will only look for your keywords in the titles of threads/posts (take note that on this forum, not all threads/posts have descriptive titles).
Pretty self-explanatory, huh?
SEARCH BY USER NAME
(3) If you want to find a post/thread by a particular user, type in the name in the user name field. (Don't worry, it will suggest possible user name matches as you type.)
Drop-down options under it: Find Posts by User (will search through all the user's posts) and Find Threads Started by User (will search only through all threads made by the user).
Ticking the "Exact name" box will search posts solely by that user containing your keywords. Conversely, leaving it unchecked will search for posts by users with the same name or has those series of letters in their names.
Ex. If I type in "Quantum" and leave the box unchecked, I'll get results containing posts from myself, quantum714, Quantummind, quantumphase, etc. So it's better to tick that box.
EPIC TIP: If you're not looking for a specific topic but you just want to search all posts by a certain forum member, you can just type in his/her name and leave everything else blank/as is. This will retrieve all posts/threads by that user.
You can also do this by going to that user's profile >> Statistics >> Find all posts by user1234 / Find all threads started by user1234.
EPIC TIP DISCLAIMER: OP will not be held responsible for any and all consequences of your stalking activities. :P
FIND THREADS WITH PREFIX
(4) Scroll down this list if you want to narrow your search to only threads with a specific prefix. The prefixes had been sorted in categories according to the forums where they are found.
FIND THREADS BY NUMBER OF REPLIES
(5) Use this to filter out threads with no replies or if you want to look for threads with no more than X-number of replies (eliminating super big threads).
FIND POSTS BY TIME/DATE
(6 & 7) This is an effective filter in getting only results from a specific time frame. Use #6 in conjunction with #7. They work very well together.
EPIC TIP: Choosing "Your Last Visit" + "Search Subscribed Forums" (in #12) will only look for new posts in threads that you are subscribed to since you were last online.
(8) (This is pretty self-explanatory.) To make your search results easier to sift through, you can sort them beforehand according to:
- Relevancy (how related the result is to your query)
- Number of replies
- Number of views (pretty useless imho)
- Thread start date (original posting date of the thread, regardless of the date of most recent reply)
- Last posting date (default)
- User name
- Forum (according to where the thread/post is found)
You can then use #9:
(9) Descending or Ascending?
- in Descending Order (default): lists your results from most to least relevant, most recent to oldest, from Z-A, and from most to least number of replies/views.
- in Ascending Order: ^ inverse of the above.
SHOW RESULTS AS
(10) Unless you chose "Search titles only" (#2), it's recommended to show your results as individual posts.
SEARCH BY TAG
(11) This will search threads with the tag name that you specified for the search terms that you entered (assuming you typed in any).
EPIC TIP: Add tags relevant to the content of your thread when you start one. It will help other people locate your thread faster.
SEARCH IN FORUM(S)
(12) "Search all open forums" is the default choice. This searches the entire bbs.evony.com board, including all the archives. "Search all subscribed forums" only looks through the threads you are subscribed to. And then of course, you can also choose a specific forum/section you want the forum search engine to look into.
EPIC TIP: You can choose multiple forums/sections by holding down the Ctrl (PC) or Command (Mac) key on your keyboard while selecting/clicking with your mouse.
Done! Now click the Search Now button.
EPIC TIP: Don't hesitate to play around with the search settings. If one doesn't yield good enough results, try another one. Change keywords, try narrower searches, broader terms with filters, etc. After all, these are just the basics, and using the Advanced Search more effectively also comes with practice.