I agree that it would be a great improvement for Discourse to better surface how its trust system works and how it affects what users can and can’t do. Currently, it may be an issue of the Discourse software still being a bit in flux - just last update requirements for promotion to trust level 1 (basically from a new user to a regular user) became a bit easier, and similar tweaks have happened in most of the recent updates. They’ve announced that they’re getting closer to releasing version 1.0 (on version 0.9.9.9 now), and with that I’d hope the features start to become a bit more static and easier to document.
We’re also still learning how the different trust levels work for our community, and making adjustments where we can as we learn what the balance between making sure folks can participate effectively but also preventing spammers and poor content. So far we’ve made a few minor tweaks, and we’ll most certainly continue to do so as we figure out what works best, but it might take a little time to get things just right as Discourse adds more features and we learn the best ways to cultivate the new forums.
As for the notifications - that was due to an issue with the background task processor Discourse uses called Sidekiq. Sometime in the past two weeks it’d stopped processing email notifications, but continued to queue them up. Once it started processing notifications again it sent out some of the old ones that had previously queued up and failed, causing some old notifications to be sent out. Notifications should be working again and you should receive them in a timely fashion. If you don’t, please make sure to let us know. Sorry for the confusion here!