With the recent upgrade of the forums to phpBB3 it is a good time to remind everyone of the forum guidelines as well as to point out some new tools that everyone can use to help stay on topic and to avoid bad behavior that can result in punishment by the moderators.
Use of Forum Accounts:
Creation of Multiple Forum Accounts (portal accounts):
Due to the abuse of some with their multiple forum accounts we will no longer allow the creation of multiple forum accounts. While this has been allowed for some time and has enhanced role playing on the forums, this change will make it easier for players and reduce the work load of the TR staff.
The policy on Forum Accounts is now:
Every player is allowed to create and use 1 forum account. This account is intended to be used for posting on the forums as well as the creation of their mages on the individual game servers. Creating additional forum accounts to hide one's identity is not allowed. Sharing or inheriting forum accounts is forbidden.
Those that create more than one forums account will have their newest account deactivated. If this account has mages created on it then those mages will be forfeit. Furthermore, the original account will face penalties ranging from temporary posting bans for first offense to longer and even permanent bans for multiple offenses. If multiple accounts are created in order to harass other players then the punishments will be more harsh. If forum accounts are shared or inherited then those accounts will be removed.
Those that currently have multiple forum accounts MUST do the following:
- Choose the forum account that you wish to keep.
- Contact a Global Moderator or the head moderator (Snofsan) and indicate that you have more than 1 forum account. Include the names of *all* forum accounts.
- If you have active mages on an account that you do not wish to keep, state this in your message. You will be allowed to keep this account until the server(s) reset, when you can then create your mage with the account that you wish to keep.
Players that wish to change their forum account name must contact a Global Moderator or the head moderator (Snofsan) requesting this BEFORE the creation of their new account. Instructions for the change will be given at that time. Repeated requests to change one's forum account name will be denied.
The following are against forum guidelines and may result in punishment by the moderators:
- Blatant Swearing
- Please be selective when using curses, slang, racial, religious, or creed based words. (this includes variants such as *****, j00z, bish, etc.)
- Moderators don't consider "Damn" a curse word in its proper format (as slang for "Damn it to hell").
- Limited use allowed of the words "whore" "rape" etc. as they have become a staple of some people's vocabulary in this game - but if it gets out of hand, this will be quickly changed (or per request of the masses).
As a general rule of thumb: for the most part, if you can't say it on TV, you can't say it here.
- Average first time Punishment: Editing or Deletion of said post.
- If it continues after being warned: Editing or Deletion of said post, requiring that moderators "review" the poster's posts prior to appearing on the board, and ultimately bans on posting ability.
- Posting unwanted links
- Do not post offensive links, this includes but is not exclusively: Pornography, Offensive Literature, Viruses, etc.
- Do not post misleading links, this includes but is not exclusively things like false guild links.
- Punishment (doesn't matter if it's your first time): Deletion of Post along with report to site administrators where further actions can be taken should they decide to. (UBB-posts are moderated by moderators, in the second line there is the forum-admin who can deny access)
- Posting unwanted in-game information
In addition to what the game-rules forbid by the decalogue (please edit out magenames, mage numbers, times of battles etc. etc.)
- Posting of In-game information that is not easily accessible via rank screen.
- Posting of 'spam' of in game information (such as notifications as to when a spell or item is up for sale).
- Average first time punishment: Editing or deletion of post, possible report to game server adminstrators if needed for in-game punishments.
- if continues after warning: Editing or deletion of post, report to game server administrators for in-game punishments, and report to site administrators for forum punishments.
- Slandering an administrator/programmer/moderator/etc. will result in editing or even deletion of a post. This includes both imitating an edit by an administrator, claiming an administrator edited your post when this is not true (Moderators will always claim their edits if they alter the post in any impacting form).
- Slandering a member of the board is not allowed, although exceptions will be made in the Server Assembly areas when roleplayed as we view this as part of the propaganda of the game. Slandering and harassing of members outside of the Server Assembly areas is prohibited. Excessive slandering and harassment of members within the Server Assembly areas, especially those viewed as being intentionally hurtful, will be subject to punishment.
- Slandering also includes accusing people of breaking the Decalogue. If you think someone broke the Decalogue, please report what you know to the ingame Admins. Exceptions can be made if you wish to discuss an action taken ingame by an admin, civilly, but hurling accusations back and forth are not allowed. Once again, if you take issue with the action an Admin has taken, appeal the decision ingame, arguing on the UBB gets you nowhere.
- Slandering a member of the board in either the Hall of Sages or Hall of Sages -- Newbie Style will not be tolerated. Be nice or avoid posting in these forums.
- There is an exception "in good humor", if a post is blatantly a joke, it will tend to go unpunished by moderators. If it is part of a debate, it will usually be left untouched, if it gets excessive - it will be removed though.
- You may also criticize the additions made to the game, but avoid criticizing to those who made them, doing so would be inappropriate and impolite.
- Should be limited to guild advertisements in the Union of Honor, all other links will be delt with on a case by case basis. (in other words, think twice before you post a link, think "does this serve a purpose? is it better elsewhere?" - don't post a link to a car dealership in the middle of a debate about a war for example)
- Messages that are off topic or that have no purpose other than to raise one's post count without contributing to a topic are considered spam. Posting links to off site locations in order to benefit in some way is also considered spam. "Light" spam may be allowed in the General Assembly boards. No spam will be tolerated in the Programmer's Corner areas.
- Offensive images will get the post deleted (per the offensive links rule), and reported to the administrators. All of your posts may be deleted if you change your signature/avatar to something offensive (moderators may repost the information, yes, and accredit to you, but your original post will be deleted).
- Manipulation via Donations
- Do not attempt to use donations as a form of manipulation, doing so would be inappropriate, and they do state that donations guarantee nothing. They will continue on their own path in providing this game as they see fit. If you don't like it, don't donate, and don't play.
- Non-Standard Language English
- Please use the English language when posting on the forums. While moderators won't always delete posts for using different languages, one must remember that the standard accepted language of these forums is English. It makes the moderator's job easier only having to review one language, and allows the community a common language.
- If you wish to have a post be decidedly one language, it is acceptable - but please note "Spanish: <subject>" or "Dutch: <subject>" or "Yiddish: <subject>", so we know what to expect. As well, limit these threads mainly to the General Discussion forum or the forums set up specifically for other languages, though limited threads in the Banquet Hall/Union of Honor forums are acceptable.
- This is also to keep users of other languages from entering and spamming your posts. (If you spam a post that is clearly labeled 'spanish' with arguments about this being an english forum, the moderators will delete the posts of the spammers for example).
- Report a post: When a post is reported a message is generated for the moderator team to view. They will read the report and be directed to the post in question. They will then decide what, if anything, to do to that post. This feature can quickly and easily "flag" a post that you feel needs moderator attention.
To report a post, click on the red "nuclear" symbol at the upper right corner of the post:
- Ignore a user: In extreme cases, if a person is not breaking forum guidelines but has gotten to the point where you can not stand reading their posts without responding to a guideline-breaking flame, you may now ignore that person. To do this, go into your User Control Panel and select the Friends and Foes link from the left option menu, then select Manage Foes. In the text box that appears simply enter the user names of those that you wish to ignore then click on "Submit." Posts on the forums made by anyone in your Foes list will not be shown anymore. Note that they still will be able to send you private messages.
- Ignore signatures / Avatars: If you have a slow connection or if you simply dislike viewing the images that users choose for their signatures and avatars, you have the option to not have them displayed. To do this, go into your User Control Panel and select the Board preferences link from the left option menu, then select Edit display options. Use the radial buttons to select your viewing preferences then click on "Submit."
With the upgrade to phpBB3 moderators now have additional tools to use to keep the community in check. Among the various options for punishment that the moderators now have:
- Editing posts: Moderators can and will edit posts that contain material unsuited for the forums. Moderators should sign their edits so that users may contact that moderator if necessary.
- Deleting posts: Moderators can and will delete entire posts or threads if they contain material unsuited for the forums.
- Warn Members: Moderators have a warning system in place, that will "tag" member accounts for various infractions. These warnings can be viewed by the moderators and kept track of more easily. Those who have repeated warnings will be punished more severely than those who have few or none.
- Require review before posting: Members that continually break forum guidelines may have their posts set for pre-approval. This means that when you make a post it will not show up on the board that you posted it on until a moderator has a chance to review it and approve it for posting.
- Temporary ban from posting: Members that continually break forum guidelines may have their posting ability revoked entirely for a period of time. During this time you will be able to read messages posted on the board, but will be unable to reply to them.
- Ban from the forums: Members that continually break forum guidelines may have their account banned from the forums. During this time(which may be temporary or permanent) you will be unable to view the forums at all. You will still be able to log into the game from the portal, however.
- Total ban from The-Reincarnation: Members that continually break forum guidelines and/or server rules may have their account deactivated and banned. During this time (which may be temporary but by this point will likely be permanent) you will be unable to access any TR features including the forums, the portal, or the game. This "extreme" step will be decided upon by the TR administrators by moderator request.
All users should use the following if they have a problem with the way a moderator has done their job:
- Contact the Moderator directly: If you know who performed the action that you wish to appeal or protest then contact that moderator directly with a Private Message. All moderators will discuss their decisions with you if you ask them privately. Understand that discussing it with them may not change their decision.
- Contact the head UBB moderator: After you have discussed the matter with the moderator in question (if you know who did it) and if you still feel that you need to speak with someone higher up in authority, then contact the head UBB moderator (Snofsan) in a Private Message. Understand that discussing it with the head UBB moderator may not change the decision.
- Contact the TR coordinator or a former head UBB moderator: If the head UBB moderator is not around for some reason, or if you do not feel comfortable contacting her, you may instead contact the TR coordinator or a former head UBB moderator. Azroen, Groentje and Alzorath are available to listen to feedback on moderator's and their decisions.
**Note: Do not engage in "moderator fishing." If you appeal a moderator's decision to Alzorath then you will respect his decision. Do not talk with Azroen, then Alzorath, then Groentje until you find someone willing to give to you the decision that you are seeking. They will generally be in agreement with each other anyways, and doing this will make them less willing to help you in the future.
*** Thanks to Azroen for updating and extending this Forum Guidelines post.