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Rules for the Atlantic Community Forums

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Halister Marner
Site Programmer
<b>Site Programmer</b>


Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 2194

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:17 pm Post subject: Rules for the Atlantic Community Forums Reply with quote




Introduction


This site is for you, the community of the Atlantic Shard. In order to keep this a fun place for all, there are certain rules that need to be followed. The rules apply to all methods of communication between community members i.e. forums, private messages, etc...

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The Universal Rule


As a major out of character and in character interaction point, the Atlantic Roleplay Community boards should above all promote community growth and prosperity. Posters and staff alike should place the overall betterment of the community in mind when making posts, adding comments, or interacting with fellow community members. Those who cause friction and discontent for no purpose are not welcome here, we are a community, and as a representation of the community, these message boards are to remain a friendly and productive gathering place.

Keep in mind this ideal when posting, show respect to every poster, and work towards the betterment of our community.

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No Spam


Spamming can be defined as either posting excessively, when a single post will easily accomplish the intended point in the discussion, or starting multiple topics about the same thing. There are other actions that are considered spamming such as constantly posting off-topic as well as providing links that have nothing to do with the forum at hand. Spam will be moved to the bonfire by the moderation team, and the user warned.

How do I know if I'm spamming?

Spamming of posts is universally regarded as an annoyance; spam also hinders and clutters conversations that might otherwise be productive. A clear example of spamming is as follows:

Original Poster: Would anyone be opposed to adding the Guardians of Virtue to our alliance?

Spammer (Reply 1): No, I don't like them.

Spammer (Reply 2): Once one of their members stole my pet horse.

Spammer (Reply 3): I think they wear neon blaze as their uniform, ew!

Original Poster: Thank you for your input, anyone else?

Spammer (Reply 4): They also suck at role-playing, they tried to use mind control on me.

All of these replies could have been summarized more eloquently in a single post, instead the spammer chose to post four times about the same topic, derailing the thread and causing an annoyance.

Moderator Action: Move the extra spam posts to the bonfire, leave the original (if appropriate) and warn the user. Repeat offenders will be subject to permanent/temporary bans upon moderator review.

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No Illegal Content


Content that is insulting to anyone based on gender, lifestyle, religion, ethnic group, race etc. is unacceptable and will be removed and the poster warned or permanently banned. This also includes extreme language and threats.

Any adult or illegal topics such as pornography, warez, hacks, scams, bugs or hacks relating to Ultima Online will result in an immediate ban from the forums. Linking to other web pages that contain this content will also result in a ban.

How do I know what's illegal?

Use common sense when determining illegal topics or posts, use the above guidelines and above all do not post anything that is offensive or age sensitive to any group or persons. A clear example is as follows:

Poster: Hey $@#3#$! Check out this new cheat site for UO! You can dupe your legs and run ten times as fast! www . superuowackylegshack.com

The poster above disregarded the forum rules and posted illegal/offensive material, as well as slander, and would have permanent action taken against his or her username.

An example of a milder infraction is as follows:

Poster in Reply: I heard about your problem gaining skills, I found this bug that allows me to use a scripting program to gain Ninjitsu to 120 in 30 minutes, first you need to attack a golem in Tokuno with a fireworks wand, then equip a pink skirt and thigh boots, and set up a script to spin yourself around in circles.

Moderator Action: Removal of post(s), ANY of the above will result in a permanent ban from the forums. If the content is not extreme, the moderator may seek permission from an administrator to institute a warning or temporary ban upon review.

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Board Restrictions


All board restrictions are in place for a reason. Language filters, avatar and signature limits are all currently in place, and should not be circumvented. Any user who is found to be circumventing these policies will be warned and the aforementioned content removed. In the case of vulgarity and language filters, the user may be banned, depending on if the severity falls into the 'Illegal Content' category. All animated signatures and avatars should be content appropriate and roleplay oriented.

The restrictions for Avatars and Signatures are as follows:

Avatars: 200 x 145 pixels
Signatures: 200 x 600 pixels and no more than 500kb

How do I know if I am circumventing the board restrictions?

Once again we can refer to common sense, the limits are listed above but an example will be provided to further illustrate this rule:

Poster: Hey j3rk5! Look at my sweet full page signature!!!

While "jerks" is not a censored word, if it was, the following spelling would be considered a circumvention of the language filters. In addition, full page signatures are a violation of the signature size limitation, and will be removed.

Moderator Action: Remove the offending image or filtered word, and issue a warning to the user. Repeat offenses for language filter circumvention will be subject to permanent/temporary bans upon moderator review.

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No Impersonating


Attempting to pose as another member of this community or of any other registered user will not be tolerated and will result in the deletion of that username. This also applies to variations of registered names as well as posting "for" users without their consent.

How do I know if I am impersonating a member of the community?

A simple rule is, do not speak for anyone unless you have their prior authorization. This rule is fairly straightforward and does not need an expanded explanation.

Moderator Action: Removal of the offending username, or in the case of unauthorized relayed posting, create a dialogue between the two posters and warn or temporarily / permanently ban if a repeat offender.

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No Slander


Treat others in your messages as you would like to be treated yourself. Insults, language or anything offensive will be moved to the bonfire. Personal attacks are prohibited. This specifically means any text/post that is blatantly attacking another person on or off the forum, especially in a personal way. There is never an excuse for using insults in a mature conversation, and it has no place on a community forum.

How do I know if I am slandering?

Any post that directs personal hate at another through insulting words is considered slander. A few examples will be listed below to help explain this rule properly:

Poster: I never deal with that psycho; he's an idiot and a loser and should be banned from the community.

This line is considered slander as it directs offensive remarks at an individual; a better, realistically phrased remark that promotes mature conversation would be something along these lines:

Poster: I have had some very bad experiences with him; I wouldn't deal with him again personally.

Here is another example:

Poster: Why do you keep posting here? You spread lies and bull, along with your friends and guild, go cry more jerk?

In cases like this, you should probably refrain from posting if you have nothing nice to say or to contribute to the conversation. Remember this is a community board and you must uphold standards of mature conversation and criticism.

Moderator Action: Removal of post(s) to the bonfire, alongside a warning or temporary/permanent ban if the slander falls within the 'Illegal Content' rule. Repeat offenders may be temporarily/permanently banned after review by the moderation team.

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No Inciting Posts


Topics that are designed to start a flame war (defined as an abrasive and/or offensive argument that serves no purpose but to make people mad) will be treated as spam and moved to the bonfire. This rule is very open to interpretation, so it will be heavily defined in the expanded rules so all members can understand its purpose. This is also considered trolling.

How do I know if I am making an Inciting Post?

As a member of the community you need to decide if a post serves a valid purpose, if it does not, then do not post it, if it does, word your post carefully as to not incite flames or arguments, or if the subject will inevitably lead to such, message a moderator for prior authorization and advice.

Another rule of note, if you know the issue can be resolved in ICQ and will be met with harsh words on the boards, you need to resolve it without making it a public matter, any harsh posts that can be resolved between the two parties will fall under the rule and will be sent to the bonfire. I will list four examples of different types of inciting posts:

Poster: What's the deal with The Guardians of Virtue, I heard they called me a twink, is this true?

This post can be handled over ICQ between the poster and the guild in question, and does not need to be brought to the boards as a public matter, would be removed to the bonfire, and the poster warned. Another example of a different type of inciting post is as follows:

Poster: I really love staying in the Guardians of Virtue's tower; it's quite comfy, especially after they got owned last night in the battle.

This post is quite obviously made to incite, any taunts or aggravating smack talk will be removed and the poster warned. This post is a generic example of an inciting post. Another example is as follows:

Poster: What's with all of the guilds wearing neon now? I find it incredibly stupid; it's not conductive to roleplay unless you like roleplaying a blind person, any guilds that wear neon should be blacklisted.

This post could have been constructive if it was worded correctly, the poster is obviously trying to incite anger and aggressive responses with this post, however if the post was reworded, it would be conductive to a mature conversation:

Poster: There seems to be a new trend of guilds wearing neon lately, I personally think it hurts the overall RP atmosphere and I find it difficult to RP with guilds wearing it. I wanted to bring it to everyone's attention and see what the general consensus and opinion on the matter is.

That post is very eloquent and probably wouldn't be that ideal to the average poster, but the idea and feel of a post geared towards mature conversation is there. An inciting post as a reply would look something like this:

Replier: I really hate when people come here and post about every problem they have, they honestly need to get out and do something besides complain about how the rest of us play, you don't like neon? Then too bad, I'm going to dress my character up in blaze and camp your guildhouse.

This post is not conductive to a mature conversation and would be considered classic trolling or inciting. The poster obviously realized his post would anger the original poster, and therefore should have thought out his response carefully, a proper response would look like this:

Replier: I really don't understand your dislike of neon, lots of players wear it, and I personally like the colors and how they look on my character. I definitely won't agree to any ban on it since I don't think it's disruptive to RP at all, I don't think anyone besides the small minority of strict roleplayers will agree to limiting our wardrobes on a community wide scale.

This post is a proper, mature response and outlines a valid argument point that doesn't resort to trolling, inciting, or angering the original poster and veering the post off topic.

Moderator Action: Removal of post(s) to the bonfire, alongside a warning. Repeat offenders may be temporarily/permanently banned after review by the moderation team.

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Private Messages


Private Messages received on these Forums and through other mediums such as ICQ and IRC are to be considered private and are not to be posted publicly unless the sender of the private message agrees. This rule is very clear and concise and does not need explanation.

Moderator Action: Removal of post(s), posts with private messages posted without consent will be deleted immediately, alongside a warning (we highly value personal privacy). Repeat offenders may be temporarily/permanently banned after review by the moderation team.

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No Hijacking Threads/Stay On-topic


There will be some leniency on this (except for the In Character Forums), and we don't mind if you bring in another idea or two, but stay focused. If you think it's a good enough topic, start a new thread about it. This also prevents losing a good idea in a thread about another topic. Threads that wander off-topic will be closed and/or trimmed or moved to its appropriate forum. Post to the forum that is most appropriate for the topic being presented. Threads incorrectly placed will be moved to the correct location and the user notified.

How do I know if my post is off topic?

If a serious conversation is going on in real life between two people, you wouldn't butt in and yell out "I like pickles!" (Unless you're insane). The same goes for forum discussions, when a topic is presented, keep the conversation going in a productive manner without randomly adding to a thread and ruining the entire discussion.

This rule also has a second edge to it, it also exists as a rule of relevancy, reading forum descriptions and posting to the correct forum is important, as posting out of character in an in character forum will cause the post to be moved.

Users who continually and excessively do this will be considered thread crapping, and will be warned and possibly banned if they continue to derail topics. I will provide an example of an off topic reply, posting in the proper forum does not need an example and should be readily apparent:

Original Poster: I agree with Joe the Guardian of Virtue. I think neon should stay, I think its up to the individual to determine whether or not their outfit is tasteful.

Replier: Joe smells like cheese and I like pickles!

While in comparison to other rules, this one seems silly to enforce strictly, although the above post could possibly derail an important discussion, therefore it may be removed only if deemed severely unproductive to the conversation.

Moderator Action: Removal of post(s) to the bonfire, user warned if excessively derailing topics. Thread crappers who continually derail conversations and cause grief will be considered spammers and issued a warning, followed by a temporary/permanent ban if deemed necessary during review by the moderators.

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Metagaming/Godmoding


Godmoding and Metagaming are two separate rule violations that apply to all In Character postings (Messengers Log and Crossroads Tavern). Godmoding is the act of forcing an action on another player, or creating an act that never occurred or could not have possibly occurred, then relaying it via an in character posting. An expanded definition of Godmoding can be found in this Wikipedia article here. Metagaming is a similar but yet distinctly different violation. Metagaming involves posting information your character could not possibly know, or an event that did not happen yet in game. An expanded definition of Metagaming can be found in this Wikipedia article here. Due to the OOC nature of message boards, it is difficult for the moderator staff to thoroughly investigate every Godmoding/Metagaming violation, therefore if the post cannot be proven or disproved as a Godmode/Metagame, as a neutral entity, we cannot take action against it. Mediation may be requested in the previous case.

Moderator Action: Contact the poster and act to resolve the situation. Any clear Godmoding/Metagaming will be moved to the bonfire if done with obvious intention to incite.

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Forum Specific Rules


The following are the additional rules of conduct for the Crossroads Tavern.

1) Posts on this board should be kept IC (In Character) at all times. This forum is for sharing roleplay activity announcements, character histories, stories and for general role-play with your fellow members of this community and visitors alike.

2) The use of emoticons is not allowed in this particular board. They are fine in all other boards, in moderation, but they are not considered appropriate for this style board. Any posts that have smilies will be edited and the emoticons removed.

Please note that any OOC (Out of Character) posts will be sent to the bonfire or moved to the appropriate board.

The following are the additional rules of conduct for the General Discussion forum.

1) Off topic posts and replies will generally be allowed here to a specific extent due to its nature as a General Discussion board. Spamming in extreme amounts will be looked down upon.

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Disobeying Moderation Actions and Continued Misconduct


Disobeying a moderator's decision will result in either a temporary ban or a permanent ban, based of the severity of the offense. More serious violations of these rules may result in further steps taken with your ISP or higher authorities. If you wish to question a moderators call, present an administrator with the issue through PM or ICQ. This is the only avenue of contest.

How do I know if I am disobeying a moderator's action?

Every time a moderator performs an action, it is a combination of proper reasoning and adherence to the forum rules outlined here. Their actions are not without merit, and the position as moderator comes with a great deal of responsibility associated with it. An example of a poster disobeying a moderator's call is below:

Poster: Hey, why did you delete my post! Ok here it is again since some moderators seem to be acting like Nazis.

This action would result in a temporary ban or a permanent ban if considered a trend with this specific poster, if you wish to contest a moderator's action, private message or ICQ an admin, and they will discuss it with the moderator in question and confirm or revoke the decision as appropriate.

Moderator Action: Offenders will be subject to permanent/temporary bans upon administrator review.

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Moderator Responsibilities


We, the official Moderators, reserve the right to edit, delete, or ban any content found on these sites if deemed unacceptable by the official rules. Moderators will post the reasoning as to why a thread or post was edited, deleted or banned in the Moderator's Corner forum and send a private message or ICQ to the author of the original topic. The locking of posts will be done upon the initial posters request, but only if the moderator deems the post to be in violation of board rules, or will inevitably lead to such a violation. Any removed posts will be sent to the bonfire.

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Questions and Legal Notes


All opinions and views expressed in the Atlantic Community Board are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of the board staff or posters.

It is the responsibility of the forum member to check this page upon notice for any revisions in the Atlantic Roleplay Community Board rules and before making any posts to the forum. Ignorance of these rules is not an excuse to break them.

If you have any questions about any of these rules, please e-mail administrator@atlanticcommunityboard.com or post them to the Support and Feedback Forum.

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