posted 02-03-06 06:28 AM EDT (US)   
You've just discovered the LOTR Discussion Forum. This is for all things relating to the world in the game Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II.
Now you're probably wondering "Great! So what's this forum all about?"
I'm glad you asked, especially if this is your first visit. So settle into that chair you're using and take a moment to read the answers to the questions that follow, all of which have been asked many times by forumers just like you.

What is the LOTR Discussion Forum?
It is a forum for members of HeavenGames (HG) to gather in and discuss current related events, exchange observations and personal outlook, and discuss a variety of issues taken from the books, movies, games, and anything else related to the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien and the makers of Battle for Middle Earth 2. Any reasonable topic is fair game, provided the topics and discussions stay within the Code of Conduct (CoC) which you agreed to uphold when you became a member of HeavenGames.

Who are the Moderators?
The Moderators consist of HG Seraphs, Angels and Cherubs, referred to as Staff, who are here to see that members keep to the rules of the forum and the Code of Conduct (CoC). The names of the current Moderators are listed in the upper right-hand corner of this screen.

Who can I expect to meet as forumers in LOTR Discussion Forum?
You can expect to meet just about anyone who is of age to operate a computer and access the internet. Forumers are boys, girls, men and women. They range in age from as young as pre-teens to the more grown-up members who have finished their education and are pursuing working careers. Some are self-employed and some even are retired from daily employment.
Members come from just about anywhere in the world you can name where people have personal computers. The official language of the forum is English. So sometimes it is difficult to understand the sentences of those whose primary language isn't English. One of the forum's rules of etiquette is to be tolerant of imperfect English and not unfairly criticize a forumer for language errors. There's more to be said about that later.

I come from a forum where spamming and flaming is rampant, so can I do here?
No. The LOTR Discussion Forum is not the kind of forum where spamming and flaming is appreciated. In fact, the surest way to have your privileges in LOTR Discussion Forum suspended is to repeatedly spam or flame other forumers. Quite a number of our members are long time participants in HeavenGames Heavens and know the ropes, so to speak. Listen to their advice should they give it and study how they post. You'll learn the ropes quite well that way.

If I break the forum rules or HeavenGames Code of Conduct (CoC) can I be banned from LOTR Discussion Forum?
Yes, but not without at least one "Warning." What is more, if you are banned from LOTR Discussion Forum, you will also be banned from all HG Sites. Now do understand, moderators do not want to ban anyone if it can be avoided. Stay within the forum rules, the CoC, and forum etiquette and being banned is just not likely to happen to you.

How should I post in LOTR Discussion Forum? Read the FAQ
This guide is probably causing you to think that posting in LOTR Discussion Forum is like walking on freshly laid eggs. Not so, but there are some things you should remember when you begin using your keyboard to post a new topic or a reply in an active thread. Let's go over a few of these things now.

Abbreviations: This is a forum, not a messenger service. Use plain English, not 133t or other quiktalk messenger codes. "You" is "you," not "U". "See" is "see", not "c". Got it? Good! On the other hand, it's okay to use such coded phrases as LOL for "laughing out loud" or IMHO for "in my humble opinion." To help you out, look for a list of these types of welcomed acronyms later in this guide.

Emoticons: Examples: These are used when a writer wants it made clear what is intended by a post. Sometimes the writer will place a word between two asterisks to ensure the reader understands the writer's thinking at the time. Examples are: *sarcasm*, *teasing* and *irony*. They aren't necessary, but they sometimes help avoid forum misunderstandings and resulting arguments.

Thread authors: The "thread author" of a thread, the member who launched it in LOTR Discussion Forum, has the right to determine the life and death of his/her creation. Moderators will honor a thread author's request to close his/her thread regardless of ongoing discussion. On the other hand, a thread author should not let other members' general disagreement with the thread author's position on the subject panic him/her into a request to close the thread. Moderators and forum members will view this negatively. They will also view negatively a thread author who launches a thread and then abandons that thread to its fate without ever participating in the discussion in the thread.

Replies: Here's the fun part of being a forumer in LOTR Discussion Forum. This is where you get to share your knowledge with fellow forumers, and where you get to offer your counterpoints or observations and supporting facts or references. Have fun this is the heart and soul of being in LOTR Discussion Forum. Inspired? Great!

Let me offer you some do's and don'ts to get you started:
-Do write your replies in English and try to use words almost everyone will understand.
-Do write text in complete sentences to the very best of your ability, and include capitalization, proper spacing and punctuation.
-Do tell fellow forumers English is your second language if that in fact is the case.
-Do stay on the subject at hand.
-Do quote other people from the internet or from the thread, but be sure to use the quote BB Code for this purpose. For reference here is a list of BB codes commonly used:
-Do state the forumer's name in your reply if you are directing your reply to one forumer in particular.

-Don't criticize a forumer's English if it is obvious the person's primary written language is something different.
-Don't win a debate by losing a friend.
Whew! That seemed like a lot of do's and don'ts didn't it? Not really. They boil down to these three actually:
1. Write the best English you can and recognize that other forumers have varying skills and knowledge.
2. Argue the important points, support what you say and ignore all of the rest.
3. Respect the diversity among our forumers and treat their writings the way you would like your own writings to be treated.
The rest is nothing more than internet code and keyboard mechanics.

What do those abbreviations and acronyms mean I see other forumers use?
Here's a few to help you out:
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
ATM = At The Moment
IIRC - If I remember correctly
IMO = in my opinion
IMHO = in my (humble) opinion
IMNSVHO = in my not so very humble opinion
ITT= In This Thread
OMG - Oh my god!
sp? = spelling? - if in doubt
CIS = Chuckle In Silence
LOL = Laughing Out Loud
ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing
LMAO = Laughing my a** off
Other expressions
Newbie = someone who's new to a forum.
n00b = someone who seems to be new and acts stupidly however long they've been there.
COC/CoC = HeavenGames Code of Conduct
For more information: Internet Slang and Acronym Search
Okay, that's it. You should be ready to roll. So once more, welcome!

My thanks to Civis Romanus who let us borrow his Library guideline to alter for our own to give our forum some ground rules, and we also thank those whose guidelines were an inspiration for this one. Jayhawk, MemoryMe and thurdl01 for the use of the text in their previous forum notes. A special thanks to GillB whose Forum Guide in Outside Discussions was the model for this Forum Guide.

Seraph Lady Arcola
"I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out." -Walter Winchell

~ BFME2 Heaven | Stronghold Heaven | Stronghold 2 Heaven~