[Sticky] Game Rules & Guidelines
Resurrecting the guide threads from the old forums because these rules still apply.
What are you rights to privacy within Allegory of Empires?
Yeah, that's right. None at all. Which means that staff may be listening to, or logging, anything that happens in the game.
Which sounds extremely harsh.
Why do you have such an open policy?
I feel that the staff need to be able to do their job, and don't want them hampered.
This is NOT so staff can spy on players, or anything of the sort. Staff do not spend their time watching what players are doing *unless* they have a reason.
Guides may need to investigate issues that have been brought to their attention.
Plotters may need to gather information necessary for the running of their plots.
No staffers will just be reading general roleplay without a reason related to their job on staff.
What if I want an OOC private conversation with another player?
Anything within the game could potentially be read or recorded by a staff member. That doesn't mean staff will be reading. For the most part, we are entirely uninterested in players private conversations.
Although staff have the ability and right to do so, staff won't be reading "over your shoulder" as you roleplay. They will only be doing so when there is a reason.
If you wish to guarantee that staff will not be listening to your conversation, you will need to have the conversation through non-game channels, such as an instant messenger.
What are some reasons staff may review my roleplay
In situation where staff suspect the rules of the game are being broken, they may review your roleplaying (much as they may read logs that players provide) - this could involve investigation of cheating, underaged players (or characters) involved in sexually explicit roleplay, or investigation of alt interactions.
In situations where plotters need specific information for a plot, that information could be recorded without the players being aware.
How is this information gathered?
There are many possible ways that information about the roleplay happening in the game may be recorded. I do not want to include an exhaustive list, but just to give an idea of the sorts of recording that may happen.
Staff may enter a scene that is in progress, or an OOC discussion between players. They could be there to observe, to help mediate, or for some other reason. They may ask first, or may enter without warning.
Staff may remotely view a scene that is in progress.
Certain items or events may record the scene as it is happening.
Certain players or characters may be "tagged" so the system records their actions, or searches for a specific action done by them.
Realistically, how is this likely to change the game for me?
It isn't. This post doesn't change the way we were running the game. It doesn't change our policies. It is merely an attempt to make everyone aware of their privacy (or lack of privacy) within the game (as some of the other games give greater degrees of assurance on privacy)
Staff won't start spying on you, or cheating to benefit their PCs. We won't start telling other players what you were up to.
As before, we will continue to police the game, try to discourage bad roleplay, remove troublesome players, support the player's plots, and do all that good stuff.
And sometimes, to do that good stuff, we need to know what's going on in the game. So now you know what/how we do that.
Well, as the game is growing, and becoming more stable, it's become time to post some rules. These rules aren't intended to restrict you or reduce your fun, just to make sure that everyone has a clear idea of what is expected from them.
These rules are subject to change. We also welcome player comment and suggestions.
1. You must abide by the Skotos Terms of Service (which you agreed to when you signed up for your account) for the duration that the game is under the Skotos umbrella.
2. You are expected to follow the instructions of staff. If you have a problem with the instructions you have been given, you may discuss them with a storyguide.
3. Even if not breaking a specifically listed rule, any intentional or malicious actions by players to circumvent or lie to the staff shall be dealt with accordingly. Although guidelines are just that, intentionally and willfully ignoring or breaking from them may result in consequences.
4. Any sexual roleplay should not happen with players who have not consented to that roleplay (either by actively roleplaying their character into the situation, or by OOC consenting) and any sexual roleplay should be kept away from public areas so as not to inadvertently include non-consenting witnesses. Before engaging in any sexual roleplay, use the @checkage command to verify that the other player is over 18 years old.
5. Multiple trial accounts used by the same player are not allowed. If you wish to play more characters than your account allows, please speak to the staff, and an arrangement can be made. If a player is found to be using multiple trial accounts, all but one of the accounts will be banned from the game indefinitely. If the player has a paid account, the paid account will be left, and the trial accounts will be banned. If all accounts are trial, it is up to the staffs discretion which account is left. If this is repeated, all accounts may be banned. If multiple players at the same location wish to use separate accounts (as they should be doing) this is acceptable, but please mention this to the staff so they know.
Please note: Multiple PAID accounts are allowed. Characters across different accounts must still abide by alt-interaction rules.
GUIDELINES AND RULES FOR ALT INTERACTIONS
To clarify confusion about alt abuse rules and interacting with your alternate (alt) characters and prevent accidental or intentional abuse, we have created this guideline to answer any questions you might have and outline the consequences of abusing your alt characters.
Having Alts in the Same Room
The standard rule about alts in the same room is don’t. We only make an exception to this rule during large-scale events. An example of events that fall under this category is staff-hosted events (such as Royal Court, Church ceremonies, VP-hosted gatherings, or other events sponsored by the Crown). Some large-scale PC-hosted events are acceptable (such as balls, weddings, diplomatic meetings, or other widely attended seasonal social events). During these large-scale events, you should try to limit your alt characters to only those who must attend.
Small-scale PC events do not qualify for this exception. Examples include casual gatherings, card games, dinner parties, or other similar events. If you are uncertain whether the event is large-scale or small-scale, seek guidance from staff or err on the side of caution and attend with only one character.
Outside the exception of large-scale events, your characters should not be in the same room. If you accidentally find yourself in the same room as another character, like when following someone else, you should find a reason to remove one of your characters as soon as possible. Remember that exchanging your alts during active scenes based on information learned during the scene when your alt would otherwise not show up there is considered OOC crossover and will be dealt with as such.
Talking About your Alts
Talking with others about your alt characters is to be avoided at all costs. In certain situations, it can even break the alt abuse rules. At no point should you instigate conversation about your alts, nor should you actively engage in a conversation that is already in progress if the talk is about your alt. If you are directly questioned or engaged in conversation about your alt, you should keep your response vague and unbiased and find a way to redirect the topic elsewhere. If you find yourself in a position where you are unsure how to proceed, seek the advice of staff or act with an abundance of caution and redirect the conversation elsewhere.
At no point should you tell another character to seek out your alt for items, money, information, influence, or conversation. When asked about industries, guilds, consulates, or groups your alt is involved in, the best option is to direct the person to someone else in the group or the forums and chain of command board located in the post office. In the event you must give official testimony to the City Guard regarding the actions of your alt characters at large-scale events, you must do so in a strictly factual, unbiased, and unopinionated way.
Exchanging Items with your Alts
Exchanging items with your alt characters is strictly forbidden. We will only allow you to exchange items with your alt characters under extreme circumstances, which will be done after consulting with staff. One example is exchanging STP items you have purchased from one character to another via staff, at our discretion, and only once.
Another exception that we will allow only after all other resources have been exhausted is when no other active crafters are available. You must seek an alternative option by asking fellow players and posting in the forums first. If you do not find an alternate choice or an order placed with an alternative option goes unanswered and unfulfilled for at least one month, you can then seek permission from staff to place the order through your alt. Should you discover that a third party has placed an order for a gift through your alt, you should immediately alert staff and make us aware of the situation.
Using Information Learned via an Alt
You may become privy to information that directly or indirectly affects your alt through roleplay. If your other characters do not become aware of this information through organic roleplay, you must continue to play your character in a way that is ignorant of this knowledge. To do otherwise is considered OOC crossover and will be subject to consequences to deter further abuse in the future.
CONSEQUENCES FOR ALT ABUSE
Using the above guideline, if we determine that your actions fall in the category of alt abuse, we can and will levy various consequences at our discretion based upon the severity of the abuse, the frequency of the abuse, and any prior consequences for alt abuse. Consequences include, but are not limited to, official warnings, suspensions, the removal of additional slots from your roster regardless of account tier, removal of characters from your roster, or an indefinite ban from the platform. When someone is indefinitely banned from the game, we will make a public announcement to the effect outlining our decision.
Please remember that Allegory of Empires is a communal roleplaying game and the object of this game is to tell stories together. Abusing the benefit of playing multiple characters robs you and your fellow players of collaborative storytelling opportunities. Using your alt characters unfairly skews the playing experience for everyone and detracts from the product we are all here to enjoy. Furthermore, the time we must spend policing these behaviors is less time we can dedicate to improving the game for everyone. Play fair, and everyone benefits.