The quick-read version: basically, try not to be an arse about things and you'll get on fine. We try to work to what few rules there are not existing to find loopholes in.
Major changes to rules will be noted with a forum announcement, but generally it's just common sense stuff that gets edited in occasionally or tweaked a bit over time.
Some friendly advice for new members
Most people post a topic in the "General Discussions" forum to introduce themselves... if you're doing this, tell us a bit about yourself and get a conversation going. It may help if you take a browse around the board to get a feel for the place before you start posting, which should also give you a good idea of which topics belong in which forums, and which members most need attachment to a V.V.H.
Rules for signatures and images used in signatures / avatars
The total filesize of any images in your signature should not exceed 40Kb (no need to worry about image hosts, you can now host a signature image for use here as part of your account options.) All graphics and text must fit within a rectangle 550 pixels wide by 200 pixels tall, plus a line or two of normal-size text. Sigs that are less tall are welcomed as they break up the flow of discussions less, and large sigs appended to very short or off-topic posts are discouraged.
Avatars are currently available up to 100x100, 20Kb filesize (which can be uploaded to your account) or you can choose from some pre-made examples.
We don't allow animated graphics in signatures or avatars, which can be very distracting. Exceptions to these sig and avatar rules are not likely to be made.
Forbidden/discouraged topics and content
The general policy on things like YouTube and torrents is that we're not here to help people freeload current commercial content. Short clips are usually okay, and there's a YouTube BBCode tag for embedding those videos in posts. No porn/gore, which goes for images as well as videos.
To clarify on torrents: linking to sites with a tracker for, say, Linux ISOs or music released for free by the artist is fine. Linking to sites that host lots of warez isn't.
Please make an effort to scan recent thread titles before posting new topics. There's also a decent search function built into the forum software.
Please give your topics meaningful titles. People are more likely to read them, and it reduces the chance of you coming back to discover someone else has renamed the thread. This is particularly important in the News forum.
Feuds and excessive off-topic posting are discouraged, and persistent offenders may be banned temporarily or permanently. Where strong language may be justified, liberal use of asterisks are required but this doesn't condone personal abuse... either on the board or via email or private messages. Please address any disputes you may have to staff privately through PM/email, and not on the board. Please don't post private correspondence in public areas without asking people first, as this can really aggravate situations.
Use of alternate IDs is strongly discouraged as they withhold IDs from new members; they may be deleted at any tme. Alt-IDs registered and used to troll will be blocked, as will the primary account of anyone doing this.
Site and forum etiquette
We appreciate it when regular members and site users check out our sponsors for their TF needs (and make an effort to screen out stores that might be dodgy or that members have experienced problems with). Every little helps towards server costs.
Making multiple posts in a row is okay if you find you have something substantial extra to say after some time has passed, just don't bump threads because you don't feel you've gotten a quick enough reply or no-one has the answer to a question. If you have a large signature, untick the "show signature" box on earlier posts.
Please keep quotes short and relevant. Quoting huge blocks annoys other people and breaks up discussion, especially if it's just to add "me too" comments.
We likewise appreciate people keeping image macros to a minimum.
Advertising of other sites and trade/sale threads
Trading is allowed, with some restrictions, in the trading forum.
Other Transformers sites may be submitted for our links page. Whilst we don't mind you mentioning sites you found or pages you made which are a valuable contribution to the community, please don't over-do it with updates/self-promotion. As ever, final say rests with the staff. Active touting of other forums is likely to be viewed as rude at best, but links to relevant discussions are generally fine.
Some forums have specific restrictions or expectations. For example, in the News forum we expect people to make more effort to check for duplicates before starting new threads. In general, just pay attention to 'sticky' topics and announcements.
General points in closing
All this stuff aside, just try to relax and have fun. It can be often difficult to assess intent and meaning from plain text (especially bearing in mind that some posters may not have English as a first language) so make use of the smilies/emoticons and try to consider how posts will be interpreted before submitting them. Most of the experience in any community is what you make it.
Be excellent to each other.
Problem? Question? Suggestion? Post it here.
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