HOUSE RULES - effective from 1 January 2013

Rules for using the site and playing on site.

HOUSE RULES - effective from 1 January 2013

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:17

This version of the House Rules has been replaced by the version here: http://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=127

This is a newly updated version of the site’s rules for playing games on the main games site (for playing games on the Forum please see either the DVFG forum or the OFG forum). The House Rules are based upon the original rules written by Diplomat and it is with acknowledgement to him that they are presented.

INTRODUCTION
The House Rules state what unacceptable behaviour when playing on the site is. They are in different sections and each section will have its own post:
General Rules.
House Rules specific to different variants.
Separating games from the Forum.
Chatbox Rules
Adaptations for different game categories – RANK, NO RANK, FRIENDS, SCHOOLS.
Appealing a decision.

Where this version of the House Rules varies from past versions is that we have removed the separation of different categories of rules, ie there is no longer a section for rule-breaking and meta-gaming.

Please note the intention here is NOT to present the rules of the game or of variants. These can be found using the following links:
Rules of Diplomacy can be found under the RULES tab.
Off-site link to the official published Rules is HERE. These were published in 2000. A later edition exists but it doesn't change the rules at all (and uses much more data): off-site link HERE.
Rules for Variants can be found within this sub-forum.

ETHOS
Some of these House Rules are difficult to enforce. However that does not mean they shouldn’t be enforced! The ideal is that there will be no cheating on site but that, of course, doesn’t mean there won’t be: for whatever reason, some members will seek to break the rules.

The site and its management reserve the right to enforce these rules and sanction any member who breaks them irrespective of whether the individual(s) concerned agree(s) with or accepts those rules, whatever the status of the member’s account.

HOW MODERATORS AND INVESTIGATORS REACH THEIR DECISIONS
When investigating cheating we use the evidence available. Where this evidence is persuasive actions will be taken without reference to the individual(s) involved. Members will usually be contacted by email (using the address linked to the account) explaining what actions were taken and why.

Where the evidence is inconclusive members may be contacted by email and/or PM so that the situation can be clarified. However, Moderators and Investigators are NOT obligated to do this.

No action will be taken if the investigation is inconclusive and/or there is insufficient evidence.

There will, of course, never be complete proof that cheating has occurred. Decisions are made upon the evidence available. Moderators and Investigators are committed to carrying out a thorough investigation of the evidence; however, mistakes may occasionally be made and individuals may appeal against a decision. Decisions may be reversed where this is felt appropriate.

Moderators and Investigators have been given the freedom to act within certain guidelines. Any decision will be a balanced one, depending upon the circumstances.
Any action that affects games will be posted in the Cheaters forum.

DEFINITIONS
Multi-accounting: Operating more than one account in the same game.
Multiple accounting: Operating more than one account in separate games.
Meta-gaming: Actions taken in a game which are based on information or events outside that game, whether in other games or based upon personal relationships with other players. Actions prohibited under meta-gaming include entering the game with a preset alliance, entering the game without the intention to win, playing as a team in more than one game, cross-game agreements and retaliating in one game as “revenge” for what happened in another game.

For a full list of rules and guidelines for using the site, see HERE.

SITE RULES MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND MODIFICATION AT ANY TIME.
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A. GENERAL RULES.

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:28

These rules are applied to all games except where modified for different game categories.

1. Multiple accounts are not allowed, including anonymous accounts and “dummy” accounts (where a member creates an account to maintain a power in Civil Disorder). The site has a one member, one account policy. Members accept this rule when they register with the site. Operating multiple accounts makes all accounts liable to banning, whether these accounts are on the games site or the Forum.
(See: Adaptations for different game categories.)

2. Multi-accounting is not allowed. Members who use, or attempt to use, more than one account in a game will be banned.

3. Gaining access to another player’s account in the same game is not allowed, whether this is to help a player by entering orders temporarily or otherwise. The member who accessed the other account will be banned and, if appropriate, the other account may be banned.

4. Members are not allowed to act as a substitute in an active game they share.
4(a). If the substitution DOES NOT use the official site systems, ie the substitute is given the password to an account, then members are additionally not allowed to act as a substitute if they share ANY active or pending game with the player they are substituting for.
Members will warned and removed from common games.

5. Players must enter a game intending to achieve the best result possible (effectively, with the intention of gaining a solo victory). This intention may be modified by events in the game but players are not allowed to enter a game intending to draw with another player or players or to lose the game. Members will be warned and removed from the game.
(See: Adaptations for different game categories.)

6. Registering an account with an inappropriate username is not allowed. “Inappropriate” includes:
- Sexually explicit content;
- Racially abusive content;
- Content which is abusive towards sexuality, sexual orientation or gender;
- Content which is explicitly obscene or profane;
- Content that references illegal acts.
Such accounts will be banned.

7. Using temporary or false email addresses is not allowed. These accounts will be banned.
For more information, see HERE.

[Rules 8-22 are meta-gaming rules.]

8. Entering a game with a preset or arranged alliance is not allowed.

9. Entering a game as a replacement with the intention of helping another player in the game, whether by invitation or not, is not allowed.

10. All players in a game should be treated equally. Treating (an)other player or players specially because of your relationship with them, or because they are friends off-site or from past games, is not allowed.
NB: We accept that in some situations human nature means that forming alliances with some players is more likely than with others; what we are looking at here is when there is explicit evidence that a player or players has been treated specially solely on this knowledge.

11. Entering several games with the same player(s) and regularly forming the same alliance is not allowed.
The guidelines are that no more than 1 game in 5 should have similar alliances and have similar outcomes or the same pattern of alliances.

12. Playing as a team across several games is not allowed. This includes playing as a team to eliminate opposition and then fighting it out.

13. Forming alliances in several games based on the fact that players are sharing these games and can co-operate in them (“We’re in three games together, let’s work together in all of them.”) is not allowed.

14. Exchanging favours between games (“If you do this in game A, I will do this is game B.”) is not allowed.

15. Exchanging information across games is not allowed. This includes discussing events from other active games and sharing secret information on another player from a shared active or archived game (eg Player A warns Player B about Player C using a copied and pasted message from a game Players A and C shared).

16. Referring players to past games involving more than one player in the current game is not allowed.
This means a clear reference, providing a game’s name or number; general references to a player’s style of play are fine.

17. Inviting players in one game to join you in other games, where this is linked to an existing alliance or a possible alliance, is not allowed.

18. The negotiation of actions and alliances must be within the game. Members accept this rule when the register with the site.
Whilst we cannot enforce this rule completely, if there is evidence of players acting in alliance, which seems to break one or more of rules 6-15, and there is no evidence of negotiations in the game records, this will be taken as corroborating evidence.

The sanctions for rules 8-18 inclusive will be that the players involved will be warned and removed from all shared active and pending games. If there is evidence that the rules have been broken consistently and over a protracted period, players will be banned immediately with no warning. Finished games the players have in common may be unranked. Only one warning will be given; should players face a sanction for any of these rules for a second time they will be banned. For these rules, unless the rule is explicitly and clearly broken, Moderators and Investigators will examine patterns across different games and will look to compare words with actions where it is appropriate to do so.
(See: Adaptations for different game categories.)

19. Entering a game with the preset idea of attacking a specific player, based solely upon events in other finished or active games, or in response to events or knowledge outside the game, is not allowed.

20. Threatening actions, reprisals or retaliation in a game for events that have happened in other finished or active games, or in response to events or knowledge outside the game, is not allowed.

21. Threatening actions, reprisals or retaliation in future games for events that have happened in a current game or other active games is not allowed.

22. Threatening to report cheating, or suspected cheating, if the player or players involved do not act in a beneficial way to your power in a game whether the game involved is the game in which the suspected cheating is taking place or another game, including prospective future games, is banned. In other words, blackmailing players with reporting them for cheating unless such-a-thing happens in the game.

23. Joining a game and taking malicious action in the game against another player, sending malicious messages or posting malicious Public Press, then leaving the game – when in response to events or knowledge outside of the game – is not allowed.

The sanctions for rules 19-23 inclusive will be that the player involved will be warned and removed from the game and any pending games involving the players. If there is evidence that the rules have been broken consistently and over a protracted period, players will be banned immediately with no warning. Only one warning will be given; should players face a sanction for any of these rules for a second time they will be banned.
(See: Adaptations for different game categories.)

24. Posting inappropriate content in Public Press is not allowed. Inappropriate content includes:
- Racism;
- Overtly sexual material;
- Comments which express hatred towards sexual orientation;
- Threats that are linked to actions, off-site or on;
- Extreme profanity (especially when targeted at other players);
- Posting other people’s personal information;
- Spamming;
- Repeated accusations of cheating when this is not accompanied by a request to investigate the game in the Cheaters forum, or when the case has been cleared.
Reported posts which meet the above criteria, including images, GIFs and links to sites which reflect inappropriate content, will be removed. If necessary, or for repeated offences, players will be warned, may be removed from the game and, in extreme cases, may be banned.
NB1: Casual obscenity will not be acted upon.
NB2: Posts which contain illegal material (eg child pornography) may lead to an immediate ban from the site.
NB3: This relates ONLY to Public Press posts, not power-to-power messages.

For more information, see HERE.

25. Cyber-bullying is not allowed, whether this is on-site (including trolling on the Forum or in games), on other sites (when this can be shown to be linked to events on this site) or relates to actions or threats of action in real life (again, when this is linked to this site). This will lead to an immediate ban.
For more information, see HERE.

26. Taking screenshots which depict any game information and passing the information on to other members is not allowed. This will lead to removal from the game and, if repeated, result in being banned.

27. Re-entering a game from which an account has been removed, whether the account was banned or not, is not allowed. This will lead to removal from the game and may lead to being banned.
(See: Adaptations for different game categories.)

28. Any other actions which the Moderators feel is harmful to the site, including (but not exclusive to) phishing for members’ account information, maliciously impersonating other members or site management, and hacking another member’s account. This will be acted on appropriately.

REPEATED DISREGARD FOR SITE RULES MAY LEAD TO THE SITE TAKING STEPS TO PREVENT MEMBERS FROM ACCESSING THE SITE AGAIN.
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B. HOUSE RULES SPECIFIC TO DIFFERENT VARIANTS

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:31

These rules are supplementary to the General Rules.

1. Anonymous Games.
There are two types of anonymous games: Anonymous Players where everything about the game is anonymous - names of the players involved and the powers they play. Gunboat and Public Press Only games also fall into this category. Anonymous Countries allows players to see who has joined a game but not which power they are playing.

In any anonymous game there may be issues when reporting games for bugs, potential cheating, etc. Players should report these games contacting the HELP! team from your Private Messages window.

(a) Anonymous Players.
Absolute anonymity has to be maintained when the game is being set up. Once the game has started, players may choose to claim a particular identity in Public Press or in-game messaging if it is available, but of course they may be lying! But players must not reveal their participation outside of the game, for example in the Forum.
(b) Anonymous Countries.
Anonymous Countries games remove anonymity on participation in the game but retain strict anonymity of who is playing which country. In these games, players must not claim any identity within the game or elsewhere. Evidence that players have broken this rule deliberately will lead to them being warned and removed from shared active and pending games, and may lead to being banned. If the rule is broken a second time, players will be immediately banned.

2. Gunboat Games.
No explicit communication is allowed in a Gunboat game. If there is persuasive evidence that players are communicating, they will be banned.

3. Public Press Only (PPO) Games.
In these games, the only explicit communication allowed is through the Public Press box (or Shoutbox). If there is persuasive evidence that players are communicating in other ways, they will be banned.

4. Fog of War Games.
In these games, players are not supposed to know what is happening in areas of the map that are “fogged”. Whilst information may be passed on within the communication rules of the game, if those communication rules are broken, or if there is evidence that a screenshot has been taken and passed on to other players in the game, the member involved will be banned.
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C. SEPARATING GAMES FROM THE FORUM

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:34

These rules are supplementary to the General Rules.

1. As far as possible, games should not be affected by actions or events on the Forum. If Moderators feel the Forum has been deliberately used to influence a game the member will be removed from the game and warned. A temporary Forum ban may be applied. For repeated offences players will be banned from the Forum and possibly the site.

2. Cheating should only be reported if there is a genuine concern. Accusations of cheating made in Public Press MUST be accompanied by a request for an investigation in the Cheater’s forum. Failure to do so will result in the member being removed from the game and, for repeated offences, banned.

3. Members are not allowed to continue to accuse another member of cheating in the same game once the investigation has been carried out and the accused member(s) cleared.

4. Members are not allowed to falsely accuse other players of cheating. If a Moderator feels that an accusation has been made to deliberately affect the game, that member will be removed from the game.

5. Members are not allowed to post in the Cheaters forum claiming they have been falsely accused of cheating. This is not necessary and simply wastes the Moderator’s or Investigator’s time. This may lead to a warning, a temporary Forum ban and/or removal from the game.

6. Members must not post false bug reports in the Bugs forum, in an attempt to change the course of the game or to support dis-information provided in a game. Doing so may lead to removal from the game.

7. When posting in the Strategy or Rules forum players should not provide a link to an active game, or provide specific game information such as name or number.

8. In the Strategy forum players must not refer to an active game situation.

9. In the Rules forum, players must not ask questions linked specifically to an active game situation, but should find other examples.

10. When advertising for replacement players on the Forum, members must not give instructions as to what a prospective replacement should do in the game or suggest a possible alliance as an incentive.

11. No post on the Forum should describe actions within an active game. After Action Reports should only be made when the game has ended; similarly, comments on players and their actions in games should not be made for active games.

12. Referring a game to be moderated as a deadlocked game, when the specified criteria have not ALL been met, may result in removal from the game.

13. Members are not allowed to threaten players who they suspect of cheating with reporting them and use this to blackmail players to affect the game.

14. When needing to report an anonymous game, including Gunboat and Public Press Only games, players should send a Private Message to the HELP! group rather than posting on the Forum. This is to prevent anonymity being unnecessarily broken.

There are rules posted within sections of the Forum where care needs to be taken over what is posted; please take note of them.

For more information, see HERE.

See also: Forum Guidelines.
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D. CHATBOX RULES

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:38

1. Do not use obscene or profane language (swearing, cursing, whatever you want to call it).

2. Do not use language which refers to sexual acts.

3. Do not use language or content which is racially abusive or abusive towards sexuality, sexual orientation or gender.

4. Do not refer to acts such as drug use which are considered illegal in many jurisdictions.

5. Do not threaten, bully or abuse other members.

6. Do not use the Chatbox to comment on active games.

7. Do not use the Chatbox to accuse members of cheating, to report possible cheating or report possible bugs. Go to the Forum for that.

8. Do not post other people's personal information. (And it makes sense not to post your own!)

9. Do not spam, troll or flame in Chatbox. All advertising of other sites is banned.

10. Do not use Chatbox to complain about members, or about decisions or actions taken by site management.

Breaking these rules will mean you will have access to Chatbox removed and repeated offences may result in a site ban.
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E. ADAPTATIONS FOR DIFFERENT GAME CATEGORIES

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:40

These rules modify the General Rules.

RANKED GAMES.
Full House Rules apply.

NO RANK GAMES.
Full House Rules normally apply with the following exceptions:

1. Role-playing games or games set-up with specific situations (such as WWI simulations) are allowed, even if these contravene normal House Rules. However, to set-up such a game the person arranging the game MUST specify what is happening in the game description.

2. Games between friends are allowed (for instance, where a small group of friends want to play together but not exclude other site members from the game). Again, the situation MUST be explained in the game description so that members joining the game are aware that they may be entering a game where expectations may be different.

NB: In both RANKED and NO RANK games, setting a password is not enough to allow members to break site rules. Passwords in these games only prevent members who do not have the password from joining the game at the start; should a player leave the game, the position is advertised openly and any site member can join the game.

FRIENDS GAMES.
1. These games will not be investigated if they are reported for Cheating unless accounts involved in the game are being investigated in RANKED or NO RANK games also.

2. FRIENDS games are exempt from investigation for meta-gaming (rules 8-22 of the General Rules).

3. All other rules WILL apply, however, including multi-accounting and multiple accounting when this information is found by Moderators or Investigators on the site’s systems.

4. A member removed from a FRIENDS game may be allowed to re-enter the game with a new account if the original account was banned under some circumstances which will be explained by contact with the member. Players may NEVER re-join a game as a different power.

NB: FRIENDS games are not flagged on the site’s systems.

SCHOOLS GAMES.
1. These games may be class-based games and, therefore, may involve “Official” accounts. Official accounts are those accounts designated by the Teacher (the member who set up the game). Official accounts are only to be used in SCHOOLS games.

2. An Official account MUST include, as part of the username, a school- or class-identifier agreed between the Teacher and a Moderator.

3. If an account does NOT contain such an identifier, it will be treated as a “Personal” account.

4. If an Official account is used in any other category of game, it will be treated as a “Personal” account.

5. Members who play in SCHOOLS games using an Official account are also allowed to open a Personal account to play in other, non-SCHOOLS games; this is the only exception to rule 1 of the General Rules on multiple accounts.

6. No member is allowed more than one Personal account.

7. SCHOOLS games are exempt from investigation for mutli-accounting (rule 2 of the General Rules) unless the accounts are being investigated in RANKED or NO RANK games also.

8. SCHOOLS games are exempt from investigation for meta-gaming (rules 8-22 of the General Rules).

9. All other rules WILL apply, however, including multi-accounting and multiple accounting when this information is found by Moderators or Investigators on the site’s systems.

10. Teachers are expected to act as Game Moderators. They can access messages sent between the powers and can delete posts in Public Press. The Teacher will, therefore, be expected to meet the site’s standards for Public Press posts (see rule 23 of the General Rules).

NB: In both FRIENDS and SCHOOLS games the password is designed to prevent site members accessing the game AT ANY TIME. Public Press, however, can still be viewed by any members and is subject to the same House Rules as other games.

TOURNAMENT GAMES. (not an official game category)
Tournaments may be slightly different, especially with regard to whether a player enters a game with the specific objective to solo outright. Of course, every player in every game should be entering to achieve the best s/he can, regardless of whether the game is part of a tournament or not.

For Tournament games ONLY, and ONLY when the Tournament has been organised through the site's Tournament sub-Forum, rule 5 of the General Rules will be considered modified to say:
5. Players must enter a game intending to achieve the best result possible in the game or in the Tournament.

With this modified objective, and keeping in mind rule 5 of the General Rules, members who organise a tournament should consider whether or not the games ought to be RANKED. The site has no preference (except as stated below) and leaves this decision up to the organiser.

However, if the Tournament SPECIFICALLY involves some meta-gaming aspect - such as team tournaments - then all games in the tournament MUST be NO RANK.

For more information on the different categories, see HERE.
For more information on setting up class-based SCHOOLS games, see HERE.
World Diplomacy Forum.
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Don't let the stepladder get you. Watch where you're stepping. ANY step could be a doozy.
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F. APPEALING A DECISION

Postby rick.leeds » 29 Dec 2012, 20:43

If a member feels that a decision has been made in error, there is an appeals process.

1. Reply to the email and state the case. This should include all relevant evidence to explain why you were NOT cheating. This may lead to further contact so be prepared to explain the situation fully and for more email exchanges.

2. Alternatively, if the result of the investigation has been posted in the Cheaters forum you may state your case there. This may lead to the Moderator or Investigator contacting you by Private Message on the site’s Forum system or by email.

3. If the Moderator or Investigator wishes to get a second opinion, s/he may ask other Moderators or Administrators for advice.

4. If you feel you want an Administrator (or other Administrator) to review the situation, you may request this. The Moderator or Investigator will pass on the information and ask for the investigation to be reviewed.

5. Once an appeals decision has been reached, however, that decision is final.

Remember these points:
- The status of your account – whether you are a Premium member or a non-Premium member – does not matter: everyone is expected to follow the House Rules. The site is under no obligation to refund a member who has taken out a Premium account is these rules are broken.
- Ignorance of the House Rules is no defence. There is a summary of them on the games site with a link to the full House Rules on the Forum. It is the member’s responsibility to be aware of them; they are the conditions you implicitly agree to when playing on site.
- At any point, if you are abusive towards an Administrator, Moderator or Investigator all communication is likely to cease and further action may be taken, including permanently denying access to the site.
World Diplomacy Forum.
Online Resources editor at the Diplomatic Pouch.
Don't let the stepladder get you. Watch where you're stepping. ANY step could be a doozy.
User avatar
rick.leeds
 
Posts: 8360
Joined: 11 Jan 2009, 04:40
Location: Wherever I am, I'm scratching my head.
Class: Diplomat
Standard rating: (1158)
All-game rating: (1070)
Timezone: GMT


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