But those rules still exist.
You're not allowed to step 1 foot over the line. Oh! Now you're not allowed to step 3 feet over the line, great, yes? The line need not be there in the first place, in several non-legal-stuff instances.
Now the discretion of the Moderator is the determining factor, which opens the door to accusations of favouritism / elitism.
The copyright rules are the same as always, with a bit of clarification. That's fine, because when it comes to legalities, the risk is on the owner, and no-one should force that person to assume unnecessary risk. No real change, which is good.
The spam issue was never about one liners, but having to "contribute at an academic standard" to the thread. If, "Nice job, I like your article, and how you punctuated that first sentence!" adds more to the thread than, "Nice job, I like your article." then I think we're splitting hairs. "I like how you highlighted that Elf's hair." Does that add anything? It's community building, but from an academic standpoint, no, it adds nothing. Which is kind of what I was trying to get at. Why enforce "academic" standards in a place people get together to have fun? Sorry, I was just choking on my own futility there. No real change.
Needless convolutions in the Necromancy rules. They could just be let go. It may not be interesting to someone that saw it 4 years ago, but maybe it peaks the interest of someone new to the site. They post, and BAM. Don't post there. They're interested in the subject, but they're not allowed to talk about it. Oh, but now it's ok if you're in a slow board and it's still on the front page? Just let it go. Changed, but needlessly retained, and still enforceable in most cases.
Double posting has been a non-issue for a long time. Auto-corrected without moderation required. No change, never really enforced. Bumping is still not allowed, no change.
The decision on off topic discussion is still a dicey thing, but if the Moderators intend to be more lenient, great. I get the recent split when it became a rules issue, and that a link was provided. This has never been something I'm particularly bothered by, I don't recall it ever having happened in a thread I was part of. No change that I see, other than a change in tone, but it will still happen.
I'm not seeing how relaxing advertising is effecting the typical member... but I don't field the requests, so there you go. Positive change for the rare member wanting to advertise their store?
Improperly located threads are no longer penalized [?] and are instead going to be moved a more friendly way. ACTUAL positive change for new members, and old members that might otherwise sit on a fence about posting when unsure about which board.
Two positive changes in regards to not immediately scaring off new members.
Upon active rereading, there is some good in there.