Please follow the Forum Etiquette, and don't do the things listed on this page!
These offenses are looked upon by forum moderation with extreme seriousness. It will take very few of them to result in a temp ban, and only slightly more will result in long term or permanent bans. Forum moderators reserve the right to ban you with no warning in extreme cases; however, in most cases we will be sure to first contact you.
No flaming or insulting of other users, respect for all other users is mandatory and assumed regardless of post count, amount contributed, or time active.
Constructive criticism and good feedback are always encouraged, but repeated unconstructive comments about a user or project, especially constant unwarranted negative responses without any real merit, will be considered intentional harassment and not be tolerated.
Posting negative threads regarding issues for which you don't provide or seem to expect a ready solution, especially those which could be considered rabble-rousing or geared to stir up masses to harmful inaction, will be considered a form of intentional disruption and punished accordingly.
Spamming is not allowed. This includes a single user intentionally posting multiple threads on the same topic, intentionally posting nonsensical garbage of poor humor in a thread, or commercial or paid advertising.
Backseat moderation will not be allowed to bring threads off topic. Comments like why isn't this thread locked yet? or we don't allow your type in this community are not acceptable, they slime the thread creator and undermine forum moderation. Discussions about relevant moderator actions or rules and policies are allowed provided they do not throw threads off topic or are done with excessive rudeness. We want to know how we can improve the way we moderate or things that we have missed, and we don't want to be flamed any more than anyone else.
Threats toward the staff are taken seriously and will result in an immediate ban. Attempting to coerce moderators to use their power unjustly is considered a serious offense. (It's up to the moderators to decide what is just. Don't use this clause as a way to cast doubt upon a moderator's actions unless you were personally involved in the coercion.)
Private disputes and disagreements should remain between those they concern directly. Public disruptions regarding private matters can be considered intentional and warrant discipline. This includes discussing and contesting moderators' actions regarding you.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly, ask the moderator to pass your case to another or directly present your case to one of the active higher moderators.
No posting of excessively mature content. These forums should be appropriate enough that community members 13 and older are not offended by our content and appropriate enough that they are safe for people viewing in workplace environments. This includes posting of sexually explicit material, excessive or crude usage of foul language, posting gore or shock humor images or websites of any type, or intimate discussions of a sexual or violent nature. Exceptions will be made only for creative writers who PROPERLY PRECEDE their works with appropriate warnings of content.
Disrespect of moderators decisions or forum rules will not be allowed. Disagreeing with the actions or opinions of a moderator in a moderation case is fine, but any sign of disrespect will be looked upon with grave seriousness. Ultimately we are here to keep order and keep community content appropriate, impeding these goals is unacceptable.
Dodging or ignoring moderators actions is unacceptable and will result in an immediate long term ban in most cases. This includes creating a new account to avoid a temp ban or restoring a moderator edited or moderator deleted post to it's original content without permission.
Posting hacks or illegal/malicious files for download is not acceptable.
Racism or prejudice of any kind will not be supported here.
Our policy is Report, don't retaliate. Offenses committed in retaliation will not be seen any less serious than offenses committed without reason. Our moderators are not omnipresent and will miss some things, such times, or in cases of harassment the only way we can regard your case effectively is if you report it to us first and don't take matters into your own hands. To make a report collect any posts you see as good examples of your case as evidence and email to any moderator, preferably with links to the originals so they can see it in forum format.
Discussion of specific projects' licensing status is not allowed under any circumstances other than in very good faith and a highly positive and productive manner, unless sanctioned by the license holder.
Practically what this means: If someone tells you you they don't want you to use their content, don't use it, and don't whine about it. We will come out harshly against you if you try to play lawyer and tell a content producer how they can or can't maintain their licences. "I should be allowed to use your model in my mod because you are illegally using TA scripts" is not a valid argument. We protect the content rights of the content artists and producers in our community first, and third parties second. You can be banned for stealing other's work here if it's reported to us.
Refrain from discussion of politics or religion in the Off Topic forum.
These offenses are considered less serious and will most often result in only moderator edits or deletions and in extreme cases will result in warnings and disciplinary action. It's plausible to get banned permanently for repeated misdemeanor offenses, so don't think you are invincible and ignore these.
Off-topic posting is in most cases allowable, although requests from a thread's original author or the bulk of a thread's to keep the thread clean will be honored. If you are clearly posting with the destructive intent to derail a thread, moderators may discipline you.
Topics should be named in some accordance with their intended content.
Be careful with comments made with humorous intent. Irrelevant of how many emotes or /sarcasm tags you use to denote your sarcastic intent sooner or later there will be someone who misses the boat or misunderstands the gesture. [i]"It was just a joke"[/i] is not an acceptable reason for a moderator to not delete something that looks like a flame or another piece of inappropriate content.
Being inconsiderate of another members opinions or feelings is discouraged. Extreme cases will be treated as flames.
Unintentionally breaking any of the rules in felony offenses as per moderator discretion. Moderators are expected to evaluate the actions of any community member and attempt to discern their intentions, in a case where a moderator feels that there were clearly no ill intentions in the mistaken rule infraction a felony offense may be downgraded to a misdemeanor offense. [i]"I didn't know it was a rule"[/i] is never an acceptable excuse; community members are expected to know and abide by our rules at all times.
Avatars are not a privilege we allow you so that you may annoy other users with them. Do not use flashing or excessively busy animated avatars. Removal of an avatar by moderation coupled with a warning should be regarded as a message to change your avatar to something less obnoxious. The moderation staff reserves the right to prevent you from changing your avatar.
Don't use colored text excessively. A highlight or two is fine but (multi) colored posts are out of order. Large font size doesn't make you right. Use it sparingly.
In general, use formatting to make things clearer or don't use it at all. Do not use it to obfuscate your posts, and remember, you don't win an argument by using a larger font or a brighter color than your opponent.
Don't abuse or misuse the post flagging function. If a report is closed, you should not simply re-flag the post, nor should you flood the moderators with superfluous reports.
Follow the guidelines of argumentative discussion, found below.
While arguments and headed discussions are not discouraged, certain common assumptions and behaviors just cause them to spiral downward into flame wars. Serious infractions of the following guidelines will be considered misdemeanor offenses.
If you don't like it, don't play/use it is not a valid argument. While you can't please everyone, try to have a valid reason why their suggestions or opinions aren't workable for the purposes of the project in question.
Your e-resume does not make you right, neither does being part of the majority. How many other people agree with you or how expert you are on the topic in question is not a valid reason to dismiss another person's argument or accept an argument. If a topic is worth arguing about, then it's worth having solid evidence to support your opinion.
Down casting an opponents e-resume or questioning the amount of popular support they have is also not a valid argument to why they are wrong. Once again, if something is worth arguing, it is worth having solid evidence.
Respect and consider the opinions of others. It's very rare to be objectively right or blatantly wrong, Don't assume your opponents are stupid or haven't thought things through properly unless you can prove otherwise.
Mandatory Minimum Warning System Bans
While individual warnings may necessitate immediate moderation action, collections of warnings indicate consistently unacceptable behaviour. In the interests of clarity and fluidity, here are rules on mandatory minimum warning sentencing for repeat offenders.
Upon the receipt of a third formal warning in a sixty day period, the offending user will be banned from the forum. This ban shall have a minimum duration of one week.
Upon the receipt of a formal warning within sixty days of the end of a previous ban, the offending user will be banned from the forum. This ban shall have a minimum duration twice that of the previous ban.
Forum rules are subject to change at any time, and moderator enforcement of these rules is applicable from the date of change forward. To a certain degree the seriousness of an offense and the disciplinary action as such is up to moderator discretion dependent on their understanding and opinion on the intents of the offender in question. We believe that everyone is innately capable of maintaining themselves as a constructive member of this community and it's simply a matter of desire and work ethic. It's entirely acceptable for moderators to deal with two similar cases in different manners based on the history of the cases in question and the results of private communication. Our moderators' greatest goal is the maintenance and rightness of this community as a safe and inclusive place. Thank you for reading these guidelines, and more importantly... have fun!
- May 24, 2012
Added clarification to licensing statuses rule (felony 11)
- May 23, 2011
Added section on politics and religion in off topic forum.
- May 23, 2011
(knorke) combined etiquette&rules sticky, moved this changelog to bottom of post
- Apr 20, 2010
Added mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders.
- Jan 7, 2010
Added clause to felony four regarding threats toward the staff.
- Jan 5, 2010
Added misdemeanor for abuse of the post flagging features.
- November 19, 2009
Added clause in felony four about coercing moderators to act unjustly.
- August 14, 2009
The official forum guidelines have been revised and consolidated, with the old posts retained for reference and posterity.