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FAQ: Forum and members

1.1 - Rules and policies

No multiple accounts are allowed.

Be polite to your fellow Metalstormers. Speak your opinion in a mature and respectful way, and don't try to insult anyone.

No discrimination of any kind, no Nazi propaganda, racism or slurs will be tolerated here (and please, don't use any avatar, banner or nickname 'linked' with such ideologies).

Respect the Staff, Moderators and Admins. If you have received a warning, better heed it - or get yourself banned.

There should be no complaining in the forums about your posts locked or removed, or people getting banned. If you feel it was a mistake, send a PM to a Moderator. Same goes for rejected edits, you should read the FAQ and PM a Staff member for explanations if you feel something wasn't right.

No pornographic, nude or gore pictures here. If you really want to share them with us, use links and a clear warning.

No links to illegal downloads, or soliciting such links. Make sure the bands or labels allow their material to be downloaded before posting such links anywhere on this site.

Speak only English here, please. This also applies for your personal texts and signatures.

1.2 - The rules of posting

New users aren't allowed to create new topics until they have reached either 100 posts or 50 community points or have been registered for more than 30 days. This is to ensure that everyone knows the following rules:

Refrain from using Caps Lock, unless you really need to shout something - a couple of words, maximum one sentence. Never write the whole topic title in uppercase!

While we understand that we can't ask people to write in pure academic english, there are still minimum requirements:
  • Start sentences and topic titles with capital letters.
  • Don't use 'fast-typing' substitutes as '2' (to), '4' (for), 'u' (you) and the likes.
  • Check your message for mistakes before submitting it.

This is not the place to spam and post nonsense. Before posting a new message think if it's worth posting at all.

We do not condone "spamming", and this can include everything we judge inappropriate and for the most part it has to do with using a bit of common sense.

For instance:
  • Don't go bashing bands (or any other subject for that matter) you don't like unless you really have something of worth to say.
    Replying with a phrase like "it sucks" without backing it up with some argument is totally useless and will only offend people.

  • Try to always give detailed opinions, with explanations and as much as information as needed.
    Short posting, including stuff in the vein of "SLAYER SLAYS!!!" and posting nothing but smilies is often considered spamming.
    Remember that what you post should be worth it!

  • Try to stay on-topic - if you want to discuss something unrelated, open a new thread for it.
    Turning off-topic in a serious discussion serves no good to the quality of the forums.

Also, when creating new threads, please bear in mind the following:
  • Use the forum search before posting a thread about some band.
    There's a good chance that there already is a similar thread, and there's no need for a second one.

  • Name your topics according to their content.
    If you're writing about some particular subject, try to reflect it in your topic title as clear as possible.
    Titles like "Check this out!" are no good.

Please refrain from using pictures to illustrate a point (memes) unless that point is clearly depicted by that picture. Especially we won't allow memes without any written text. If you feel that a picture can contribute to the topic in a funny or informative way, please add some lines to it, explaining your point. Posts not adhering to this will be deleted without warning. As will posts with multiple memes.

When quoting other users, please delete any nested quotes (quotes within quotes) you don't want to comment on. If you feel you need to post a nested quote, please see to it that it doesn't go above four layers of nesting. When quoting posts containing images or videos, please remove all images and videos in your quote unless you are directly referring to the image or video. In these cases, please avoid quoting more than one item at once.

That being said, you should have no problem if you make use of a little common sense. Should you have any question, please send a private message to one of the guys in the moderation team before you do something that we may deem as wrong.

1.3 - The rules of album ratings

Acknowledging that the whole concept of an album rating is something ephemeral and subjective that can never be empirically nailed down to a correct answer, we want users to feel like our database is a helpful tool for discovering bands and albums. We want the data aggregated from all these votes to provide a firm basis from which to draw conclusions about trends, preferences, and artistic progression. We want to look at our ranking of the top 200 albums and believe that it represents the honest collective opinions of as many metalheads as we could gather. That's why we display all of this information in the first place.

For all of that to work, we need users to exercise some rational consideration in their appraisals.

  • Please give realistic ratings: your vote should reflect your genuine opinion of the album's quality and it should not take into account the votes of other users, the current average score of the album, where the album sits on the charts, or any other irrelevant information. Voting just to manipulate an album's position, be that positively or negatively, is one of the definitions of rating abuse.

  • Listen to the entire album before settling on a rating: skimming samples or checking out the singles does not constitute adequate engagement with the work. Give it a fair shot or just don't rate it.

  • Remember that a 6/10 is a positive score and not a damning punishment. Don't be afraid of modesty.

  • If your band is featured on Metal Storm, please don't tell all your friends and family to register just to shower you with 10s; we'll figure it out eventually, and looking tacky often does the opposite of attracting fans.

    Metal Storm has a clearly delineated system, with each score of 1 through 10 assigned a meaning - 1 being "worst ever" and 10 being "perfect". Follow the guidelines of that system. A 10/10 is a masterpiece, an album that changed the way we listen to music nowadays, something that stays with you your entire life. It's Ashes Against The Grain, Panopticon, and Sad Wings Of Destiny. It's not for every album, EP, single, and DVD released by your favorite band, it's not for something you passively enjoyed and will forget next week, it's not just to mark that you listened to something. Similarly, a 1/10 is a travesty, an album so appallingly unbearable that it's surprising you even lasted one full listen on the basis of which to rate the album. It's Dedicated To Chaos, Graveyard Classics, and... well, frankly, very few albums are that bad.

    We know that this is a highly subjective process, that it's often hard to distinguish firmly what qualifies as good-faith or bad-faith rating, and that some of this sounds silly when you try to enforce it. Of course we know that; we listen to music, too, you know. But our rating feature, like any other feature of Metal Storm, relies on each of us being considerate members of the community. If you want ratings to mean something (and if you want to retain your own ability to use them), please approach them thoughtfully.

  • 1.4 - What is a signature? How do I put a picture there? Are there any rules for it?

    Along with username and avatar, signature is something to help you to define your personality on the forum. It may be a quote or some line, or a small picture.

    To put a link in your signature, use the UBB code. You can also upload a picture, but it can't be higher than 60px and wider than 468px, and it shouldn't exceed 20Kb.

    You must provide an English translation to a non-English text in your signature.

    1.5 - Using the Shoutbox

    The shoutbox offers a more direct way to communicate with other members from the site. Here are some useful things to know about using the shoutbox:

    - As mentioned in the rules of Metal Storm, you should respect the others - site members but also bands, labels, etc.
    - Don't go shouting "This band sucks/rocks!" without any reason or context.
    - When posting links, also take the time to drop a line about its content.
    - Also, as mentioned in our global rules, avoid posting links to pornographic, nude, gore or discriminatory material.
    - Don't flood the shoutbox with nonsense shouts.

    Inappropriate shouts can be removed at any time and can lead to sanctions.

    The shoutbox is not meant to be as tightly moderated as our forums, since there's no real topic. A minimum use of common sense is all you need to fully enjoy it.

    1.6 - Custom titles

    Custom titles are displayed under your username in forum posts. You may use a custom title to give more information about you. Custom titles cannot exceed 16 characters (spaces included).

    This is a reward for your contribution to the site. You can get the ability to edit a custom title in your Profile after you have collected 100 Community points.

    1.7 - Permissions and warnings

    Permissions allow/disallow users to perform various functions, like edit bands, post messages or start new topics. Permissions can be modified by Admins and Mods. To see who's got which permissions, go here.

    Warnings are given to users who violate site rules and policies in any way. They come with a number of days for which you can be banned. When you get your third warning, you will be banned for the combined amount of days you received with warnings.

    After the number of days expires, you get the permissions back. You can view your current permissions in your profile.

    1.8 - Community points

    Community points are a virtual reward given to users for contributing something to the site. For example:

    Forum report - 1 point
    Band / album / video / trivia / logo edit - 1 point
    Edit lyrics - 2 points
    Add album / video / trivia / logo - 3 points
    Add news / event - 4 points
    Add review - 15 points
    Add article / concert review - 20 points

    100 Points - Custom title (edit it yourself in your Profile)

    Community points can also be helpful when deciding who to promote to a Official Contributor, Elites or Staff member.

    1.9 - What are elite users?

    Elite users are those members of our community who we think are cool.

    Being an elite is a privilege since they are chosen from members who contribute a lot to Metal Storm. They submit database modifications and editorial content, help moderate the forums or display exceptional community spirit and musical knowledge. Elite members also benefit from additional insight into how we work at Metal Storm HQ and from close contact with the staff. Elite status doesn't come without responsibilities - elite users are considered examples of conduct in the community and need to uphold their excellent reputation in order to hold onto their status.

    1.10 - What are Official Contributors?

    Official Contributors are those members who contribute to Metal Storm in an official capacity. They work closely with Staff members and perform duties such as database edits, news submissions and also submit official reviews.

    Due to the sheer nature of their contributions, those members will be looked at for future Staff promotions.