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Old 07-20-2020, 08:08 AM   #1
Andreas Raht
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hollern/Stade/Germany
Posts: 8,935
Forum Rules

OOTP Developments Forum Rules and Posting Guidelines

We have one simple goal for this site:

The OOTP Development forums should be a place where people can share ideas and thoughts about our products in a friendly, respectful, and child-friendly environment.

This board benefits us as well as our customers. We all have much to gain by sharing ideas and concerns, and many of the best product ideas have come from the community. Your comments are welcome, whether they be in support of the game or in criticism. We do expect, however, that all comments will be presented in a manner which breeds teamwork and respect.

These rules and guidelines are designed to make the OOTP forum a pleasant place to be. We are all here because we enjoy the products from OOTP Developments and want to share that enjoyment with others. In the course of discussion, disagreement and criticism will inevitably occur. We feel that such disagreement and criticism must be presented and debated in a courteous manner.

It is the responsibility of each participant in the site to be responsible for his or her own actions. Additionally, site admins and moderators have the ability to enforce these rules through judicious use of warnings and bans.

Forum Rules

The following are the formal site rules to which you agreed when you registered for this site:

Although the administrators and moderators of the OOTP Developments Forums will attempt to keep all objectionable messages off this forum, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of OOTP Developments Forums, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.

By agreeing to these rules, you warrant that you will not post any messages that are obscene, vulgar, sexually-orientated, hateful, threatening, or otherwise violative of any laws.

The owners of OOTP Developments Forums reserve the right to remove, edit, move or close any thread for any reason.

Rules Infractions

Rules infractions may result in a warning so assume they will. Moderators have the right to make judgment calls on whether or not something is warnable. They can even ignore infractions if they wish to. However, if something is warnable, it is likely some moderator will issue a warning over it. If a warning is issued, the text of the post may be edited or deleted. An e-mail notification will be sent to the user about the warning and it may include some action requested of the user. A moderator may also just edit or delete the post without issuing a warning. The complete issue will be logged in our database.

Warning Types

There are two types of warnings: warnings that don't count towards a ban (yellow cards) and warnings that do (red cards). Most warnings will count for 1 point towards a ban and will expire after 90 days, but it is at the moderator's discretion how many points a warning is worth and how long a warning will last. 4 points will result in an automatic, permanent ban of the user account. The number of warnings and the points toward a ban will be displayed in the user information area next to each post (it reads, "yellow cards / red cards (points toward ban)").

Warnable Offenses

  • Trolling - Don't post controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages with the primary intent of: provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response, or otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
  • Making Users, Especially Newcomers, Feel Unwelcome - Just try to be nice to others and if you just can't then just steer clear of them.
  • Posting Deliberately Insulting Content - Insulting others isn't productive and it will not be tolerated.
  • Posting Intolerant or Prejudiced Content - Posts containing intolerant, prejudiced, or otherwise negative generalizations regarding race, religion or other often sensitive topics will not be tolerated. Tread very carefully when discussing these topics as a misstep could easily lead to an instant ban.
  • Posting Swears / Bypassing the Swear Filter - "What exactly are the warnable swears?", you ask? Just try to be respectful of others who might not appreciate such language by not using any words (or abbreviations, initials, etc.) a regular person would likely not use in respected company.
  • Posting Other Inappropriate Content - Do not post nor link to: nudity, porn, stolen, or other copyrighted material. This community is particularly sensitive to software piracy so tread very carefully if discussing it, but also keep in mind that you yourself may be held criminally responsible for any of your copyright violations.
  • Asking to Share/Buy/Sell a License - It is okay to offer to sell all your license uses (it's usually just two), but you are not allowed to offer to sell, or share, some of your license uses. Nor are you allowed to offer to buy, or share, any, or all, of someone's license uses. Again, just so it's clear: you are allowed to offer to sell all of your license uses; you are not allowed to offer to buy, share, or sell anything other than that. If you do buy someone else's license uses (after someone has offered to sell theirs), please register it with the licensor so they remain yours.
  • Quoting Inappropriate Content - If it's against the rules to post it in the first place, then it's against the rules to quote it too.
  • Including Inappropriate Content in Sigs and Avatars - In addition to all the rules also applying to sigs and avatars, sigs and avatars are prohibited from including political or religious statements of any kind.
  • Creating Too Long of a Signature - We don't want to go hunting for these, but if your signature is unreasonably long then we may ask you to shorten it to a max of 6 regular size text lines or 100 pixels. This will most likely not result in a warning unless you refuse and we are forced to disable your sig.
  • Using Aliases Inappropriately - Don't use multiple accounts to deliberately deceive others about your identity.
  • Posting to the Wrong Board - Unless this breaks another rule, this will most likely just result in a move to the correct board, but do it often enough and you just might get issued a warning.
  • Hotlinking - Don't directly link to a file hosted on a third party site without their permission as this can be considered bandwidth theft. Instead, provide a link to the page it is on; or if you know you're allowed to copy it: upload and link to it from a site you know you're allowed to hotlink from or post it here as an attachment.
  • Posting Full Articles - If you want to reference an external article, only quote a few relevant excerpts from it (2 or 3 paragraphs at the most) and always include a link to the full article so the site hosting it gets its due benefit.
  • Posting Only a Quote or a Link - This can easily be seen as trolling, and possibly even spamming, so please frame your post with some sort of report or editorial. Showing some effort by expressing your own thoughts on the topic helps to show us that you're not just trolling or spamming.
  • Inadequate Attribution - If something you post, in part or in full, is not your own, then attribute it to your source as best you can. People don't appreciate being mislead about where something is coming from or not seeing credit given to whom it is due.
  • Frivolous Reporting - If you're just trying to get someone in trouble for what may look like no good reason, then don't do it as you very well could get the warning instead, especially if you appear to do it a lot.
  • Other behaviour not specifically listed here that the moderators may deem inappropriate - Yes, that's right. Just because it isn't spelled out here doesn't mean you can't get a warning for it.

Instantly Bannable Offenses

  • Spamming by accounts that appear not to have any real purpose other than to spam - this is by far the most common reason for a ban yet it is not something the vast majority of users need to be concerned about violating
  • Banned users returning to the site using a different alias and continuing the same pattern of behaviour - it is probably impossible to prevent a banned user from ever coming back so, other than take away their access to their old account, all we can do is be quicker with banning an account that we believe is by an already banned user.
  • Particularly egregious breaking of any the rules - this is at the moderators' discretion, but it probably won't be used unless you do something outrageously bad.

Types of Bans

There are 3 types of bans: permanent, temporary, and limited. Excluding bans of spam accounts, bans of any type are fairly uncommon.

If someone is being exceedingly difficult and we think that a temporary ban will be all that is necessary to bring them back into line then, regardless of the number of banning points they've accumulated, we'll issue them a temporary ban. We could of course just permanently ban troublemakers right when they start to get unruly, but we'd rather attempt to correct inappropriate behaviour through whatever means before permanently banning someone as that is more in keeping with the aforementioned goal of our forums. The length of a temporary ban will be at our discretion, but one can expect it to be a minimum of two weeks.

If someone has shown that they only have a problem conducting themselves appropriately in certain forums then they may be banned from just those select few boards. For example, if someone is not a problem on the main game boards, but they just can't be civil on the Off Topic boards then they will be banned from OT either temporarily or permanently.

Permanent bans are the rarest type of ban. Troublemakers whom we just can't knock some sense into are usually the only users who even come close to getting a permanent ban.

Reporting Offenses

Due to the sheer number of posts, it is impractical for the moderators (almost all of them are volunteers from the community) to review every single post. Therefore, to maintain the mission of the forums, we must rely on your help to report violations of the rules. If you see a post or a PM that you feel violates the rules and deserves a warning then please report it by using the report icon that looks like an upside down yield sign next to the offending content. Please don't use this feature frivolously (and risk getting a warning yourself for it), however, as it takes away the moderators' time from doing something more important.

Responding To or Appealing a Warning

If you get a warning it's probably best to just accept it and to comply with any instructions that have been asked of you by the moderator. If you offended or insulted other members of the board it's probably best you give them a sincere apology as soon as possible.

If you disagree with a warning it's probably best to still just apologize and try not to do it again, especially if it's a minor warning (an expiring one pointer or less), but if you just can't let it go then it's best to take it up with the person who gave it to you. If you still feel like you're not getting treated fairly then report it (the post where the rules were disputedly violated) so the moderators as a group can discuss it. Do not take it to the developers as it is not their desire to undermine the work of their moderators and they usually have much more important matters to be paying attention to. If the moderator who issued the warning won't reverse it, don't bother anticipating that someone else will.

Like in the real world, there will be inconsistencies at times (sometimes you get off with a free pass for speeding and sometimes you get a ticket), but it's probably best that you not get too riled up about it thereby letting it ruin your own day or week. Ultimately, it's up to you whether you get banned or not so just try to follow the golden rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and even if you pick up the occasional warning you'll most likely be quite safe from ever getting banned. Be a model citizen and the odd time you slip up you just might catch a break. Rather than leaving it up to moderator discretion, just take it out of their hands by refraining to post anything that could be reasonably given a warning.

Off-Topic Board

The Off-Topic board is the board where our community discusses topics that have nothing to do with the company, its games, or sports. As discussion in the Off-Topic forum covers a wide spectrum of often controversial topics and it is opt-in only, moderation of this forum is not as strict as it is in the other forums here. Be aware, however, that the definition of "not as strict" is at the sole discretion of the administrators and moderators. The relaxed enforcement of the OT board is merely a way to grant participants additional flexibility when discussing potentially volatile topics.

Opting-In to OT

To access the off topic board you have to opt-in to it. To do so, click the "User CP" link above then under the "Networking" menu on the left click on "Group Memberships" and on the right select "Join Group" radio button for the Off Topic Group and then press the "Join Group" submission button. On the forums index page the Off Topic board will now be visible beneath the Talk Sports board.

OT Debates Board

The OT Debates board is a forum created to contain the most controversial topics of OT which are often of a political or religious nature. While the rules do still apply here, please note that if you are easily offended then it's probably best that you stay away from many, or maybe even all, of the topics posted on this board. You may even want to opt-out of OT entirely because of them. If you're going to report something that is on this board, please make sure it is inordinately offensive.

Don't Fret Too Much Over The Rules

In the end, don't fret too much over the rules. Unless it looks like you're purposefully being a troublemaker, it's not likely that you'll get in trouble. Just give your posts a bit of thought, maybe consider the golden rule, and that should be good enough. If you're really not sure whether something is alright or not, then just ask first.

Thanks very much, welcome to the boards, and enjoy!

OOTP Developments
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