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Newbie-Friendly Guide to Using the Forums
Hello, and welcome to Forces of Steel!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for registering an account on the forums. It's great to see more people frequenting this place, and I want to help make it easier to get acquainted. Therefore, I've written a quick guide to using our forums more efficiently. Our main goal is to bring everyone with a mutual interest in metal together, without causing division. Most other communities will do that, but not our forums. No one is above our rules, too, which I think you may want to read at some point.

Before we begin, please understand that this is an English-speaking community. While English may not be your first language, you are required to communicate in that language only, even if it's not the sharpest. You could try translating in your native language to English, too, so there's no reason to not participate!

1. I Just Joined, So...

Alright, you're a new member of the forums, and you're suddenly overwhelmed by all the pieces of text on the index page. Where to start? For the most part, we'd recommend that you personally introduce yourself to the community first. Our community is always looking forward to new faces. Simply include a personal introduction and perhaps tell us about what metal and other music you're into. That will help us understand where you're coming from a little better. After that, we encourage you to lurk around for a few days, so you can get a better feel for our community. Once you're ready to move on from the lurker phase, proceed to the next section.

2. Getting Involved with the Community

Once you're ready to move past your lurker phase, you'll need to keep a few things in mind.

Before you proceed to posting, however, please do a thorough reading of our rules. While they may be long-winded and seem strict at first glance, keep in mind that our moderation is very tolerant, so it's fine to not have much to say in a thread. What we want to prevent are spammy posts and conflicts. The first few offenses will be excused, as we delete such posts. What we aim for is to establish a civil environment. This is an open forum where no one in particular will be catered to.

That doesn't mean, however, that we can't have a good laugh every now and then. The general atmosphere is more on the dry side of things, so if you come across a post that seems like a personal attack, rest assured that it's the way that some of our members act, and they're certainly not out to get you. If, however, you feel that someone is trying to slander you, then you may message me. I will certainly look into the situation. Just wanted to point this out, in case you experience doubts.

3. Posting

Before you make a post or start a new thread, make sure that you're posting in the correct forum. For example, Rotten to the Core is our general metal discussion forum, so direct all posts about metal bands, genres, and so on there. We also contain forums within parent forums, which are more branched out. For example, we have Death or Glory for our ongoing album polls and FoSletter for our weekly forum newsletter, which includes a randomly chosen band and information on new metal releases. Be sure to read their descriptions and all important threads in there to understand how to use them efficiently.

If you're not comfortable with posting often, but would like to get your feet wet, we recommend that you post what you're listening to here. It's a very straight-forward thread. Once you've gotten the hang of it, you can start browsing around the forums at your leisure.

4. Band Discussions

Our main selling point is our Band Discussions forum, where there are many forums that are specifically sorted by sound and region. This is a great opportunity to brush up on your metal knowledge, as we're more than just a forum for lamenting the prime years of Metallica or Iron Maiden. There are plenty of other bands in that same style that you'd probably want to check out, hence its success. We acknowledge that everyone has different tastes, and that's why they're sorted by genre. Like heavy metal? Check out the NWOBHM band recommendations. Like black metal and death metal? Their respective forums are there, and we have a forum for war metal. The list goes on and on. Basically, it's there to make it easier to discover a band, and unlike most other metal resources, they're not usually guaranteed to be favored by the people who submit them. In our case, it's almost always someone who has an affinity for said band to want to post them. That's what separates us from the rest.

You may also recommend your own bands, but please abide by the rules here and here. In a nutshell, do a little more than just post YouTube videos, as your goal would be to actively convince a visitor to check out the band. A brief description on what they sound like to you is a step in the right direction. It should be pretty easy.

5. Points & Badges

Another selling point is that we offer badges in exchange for points earned through posts. The badges are simply for making your profile and your posts stand out more, and it lets the community know what you're into. They each cost 100 points, and you get 5 points per post and 10 per thread. Also, when you register, you're automatically given 100 points to get started. You can browse our shop here.

With all those points acquired, you can even donate them to another member or two, and they will be notified upon donation. If you want to sell a badge back, you will get your spent points back. Unfortunately, there is no way to manually organize the order of the badges, but it's still there for the heck of it!

6. Other Niche Sections

We post our reviews via the Morbid Visions forum, our exclusive interviews are published via the A Dangerous Meeting forum, and your selling and buying inquiries are published via the Metal Merchants forum.

Please keep in mind that if you want to promote your band or your label, please consult the Band Discussions and Record Labels forums for that. Make sure to read their rules, if any are presented. Heavy Metal to the World is for all other metal-related promotions, such as blogs, zines, YouTube channels, and so on.

Blood, Guts, & Beer is where all non-metal-related discussions are posted, which includes posts about rock bands and such. There are more specific forums within, and they should be self-explanatory forums at that. While we do offer the Moronic Stuff forum for posting dumb things, we ask that you don't spam it or post rubbish about anyone on the forums in particular. Simply have a look in there to see how we interact, and then blend in with the crowd.

Ultimately, it's a must to use your best judgment, but if you're not sure where to post, a moderator can move your thread to the right forum.

7. Use the Search Function!

This one is pretty obvious. If you're not sure if a particular thread already exists, then please search around. Type in what you're looking for, and if there are any results yielded, then you'll know. This is to prevent having multiple threads about the same subject. Bumping old threads is fine, but make sure that your post adds something to the thread. Again, it depends. If in doubt, you may send me a message.

8. Anything Else?

Besides using the forums for communication, you're free to visit the Game Section to kill some time. If you're not interested in using our shoutbox, but want to chat, we operate an IRC channel that you can join.

If you want to leave feedback, you're free to post it via the Feedback forum. I'm always looking forward to implement changes that would benefit us all, as I run this forum for fun, and I'd never use it for financial gain. Therefore, you won't be seeing any advertisements or other shady schemes. That's not our groove at all. This is a forum for people with a mutual interest in metal, and nothing more.

I understand that this is a long-winded post, but it should provide more than enough information on getting the most out of the forums.

Happy posting!
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