Threads are always going to veer off topic, no matter what the rules are in the opening post--it's just the nature of the beast. Conversations and opinions should not be fitted into tidy little boxes that follow a hopscotch pattern down the thread, rigidly adhering to only on-topic posts. Yes, baiting and trolling issues should be addressed, but my own personal thought, is to have a limit on the number of threads, across all forums, per week, that everyone can start--like maximum of 2, including competitions.
A quick glance of just one of the forums, shows the same handful of people, blowing out thread after thread. Setting a limit would serve a number of purposes:
1. Cut down on clutter
2. Make people choose more wisely, their topic/thread if they know they only get 2 per week
3. Get more variety of threads
4. Might cool down tempers a bit, if people know they can't start 200 threads at once because "this thread or that thread, doesn't allow me to express my opinion per the guidelines, so I'm gonna create one for every opinion out there, on the same topic"
We're only allowed to start 2 comps at a time, so why not bring that forum wide, and if you use both your options to start 2 comps, or 2 threads, or 1 comp & 1 thread, then you don't get to start anymore threads until the next week.
Just a thought.