Because we have so many new players coming in from different games, I thought it would be a good opportunity to recap some of the rules and to update others.
1) When you sign up for the game you are agreeing to abide by our rules.
There is no discussion about "free speech", as this is not a public square. In fact, Illyriad is a private party that has an open door policy, but we also reserve the right to kick out anyone who simply does not behave. That is our right above everything else. Of course, we do it rarely (something we pride ourselves on is our community) but it can happen if needed. If you go around starting fights with the guests at our BBQ pool party, you will be asked to leave or forced to be quiet.
2) A set of rules does not tie our hands.
In other words, if a player behaves poorly but does not technically "break a rule", that does not mean we cannot act. We have the ability to consider context, intent, etc. A player can come in and use the word strawberry in the wrong way (spamming it, etc) and still face consequences. If you play illy, you agree to abide by our rules - as we see them and as we implement them.
3) New words added to chat filter:
There is no way that people are going to use certain words in a polite, constructive way, but there are still plenty of ways to argue or to discuss game mechanics without using them. If everything is working properly, certain words should fire off the auto-silence. I would list every one of them, but the list is long and I do not want people to think that they can get creative and get around the filter once they know the words. A key note: we are going by "American slang", here, so words like "fag" that mean cigarettes somewhere else will not fly here.
This is a common issue. I only have to shut down conversations when someone brings up the harder edge of any of these topics. Typically they are not allowed because (for some reason) someone always takes it personally and it becomes a yelling match. Here are some examples.
Player 1 - "The government sets the taxes and uses those taxes for stuff."
Player 2 - "Yeah, they also run the army and do stuff, blah blah."
Player 1 - "The government taxes us way too much! Down with them!"
Player 2 - "Yeah! They suck! Your country sucks! Let's talk about conspiracies!"
The same thing always happens to religion, etc. In other words, talk about them all you want, but as soon as the conversations turn to.... bad stuff... the players who are having a polite conversation need to tell the offending player to stop it. If I tell you all to drop it, it's because I do not have time to weed out the nice players from the offending players. Feel free to tell me (politely) that "so and so is wrecking this perfectly good and fun conversation about history" and I will take it from there. Do NOT yell at me about free speech or something ridiculous. I will just shut it down then.
5) Walls of text:
If you intentionally post a massive wall of text in order to prank or to make a funny in chat, your account will be banned. Forever. And ever. Do not test us on this. The fact is that the team sees this as an attempt to literally shut down chat (and it does effect chat, we have measured it in real time) and will be treated as an attempt to break the game. Do not test this one.
This happens a lot any time we get new players, but just be aware that begging in chat is not allowed and has never been allowed. If you look at the link on this forum or on my profile, these rules have been in effect for years. What IS begging? While it's hard for me to give an exact definition (also, players would use the time given as a way to "skirt" the rules) you will know when people warn you. Don't pop in every few minutes and beg for goods. Ask your alliance first, then ask chat.
7) Illegal drugs:
We do not allow the discussion of illegal drugs. Do not talk about how high you are, or about how many times you get stoned in a day. On top of that, talking legal drugs illegally taken ("Man, I love taking too many klonees!") is not allowed at all. Sure, I'd rather see pot go legal... but it's not. Sorry. We go by American Federal law. Pot is not legal in most of America. It does not matter if it is in SOME states.
8) Children in chat:
EDIT: Due to the recent issues we have had with children talking in chat -- and talking as children should not -- we are setting the minimum age to play any Illyriad title to 13, effective immediately.
I think that covers most of the recent changes/updates. Because this is in the rules section and will be linked on my profile, saying "I didn't know it was against the rules" does not count. You agree to these rules when you sign up. As soon as I post this, you have agreed that you have read it.
I hate to write this stuff because it seems like things are bad out there, but they have never been better. The game is going great, and the community is even cooler than before. I just wanted to update these common issues before they got out of hand.
Thanks! And now I'll see you on the battlefield!! *prepares mammoths*
In the months that I've been the Illyriad community manager and thus, the primary chat moderator, I've heard a lot of questions from players about how moderation works in global chat. I thought I'd take some time to clarify a few things in hopes of making chat run smoother for everyone.
First, I'd like to say, that overall our global chat is a shining example of an online community. I see on a regular basis new players come in and comment on how nice and helpful everyone is and how unusual that is to see in an online game. I do not take credit for that. That compliment belongs squarely with our amazing community members that have literally made Illyriad one of the best gaming communities of its type. You have my sincere thanks for that. And I want nothing more than for this to continue to be the case and for players of all types to feel welcome and comfortable in our game and global chat.
And with that, on with the rules clarifications. (Bold for important point emphasis.)
There are 2 types of chat silencing. The first is a one hour silence for profanity and spamming that happens automatically via a chat filter. The second are GM initiated silences that can last over 12 hours.
Mistyping words in order to get around the automatic chat filter is not acceptable and can earn you a GM chat silence.
After having been silenced, coming back on an alt or newly created character in order to complain about having been silenced is unacceptable behavior and will earn a chat silence for the second account. If you have two accounts and create a third for this purpose (or any purpose) you are in violation of multi-accounting rules and are subject to having accounts permanently suspended.
If you are silenced by me, I will send you an in-game mail with an explanation of why that you can reply to with any questions. If I am away and you are silenced by another member of the GM staff you will not get such a courtesy because you are taking away from their valuable development time, as their primary function is development not chat moderation.
No one on the GM staff will discuss publicly, or with individuals in private, the reasons for moderation, silencing or the status of suspended accounts with anyone other than the account holder themselves. Do not have your friend come to me and ask why you were silenced. It will get the same response and ultimately waste both of our time.
"But I was silenced for X and I saw someone else do X that is also against the rules."
This is a common response, and while slightly understandable it is important to focus on taking responsibility for your own actions instead of trying to deflect onto others. It will not work to get you out of trouble or have a moderation decision against you changed. Also, as mentioned above, chat moderation decisions are discussed in private with the person involved only. Just because you didn't see anything does not mean another person didn't receive a warning or silence for their actions. Also, if you are genuinely concerned about something someone else said, and that I may have not seen it, please open a petition under the "rules" category with as much information as possible and I will look into it.
This is an incredibly important point. It is absolutely not appropriate to goad me (or the rest of the GM staff) into silencing you for whatever reason. Do not attempt to test if I am watching chat at that moment by calling out my name and requesting to be banned or saying something intentionally against the rules. I have a zero tolerance policy against this behavior and it can absolutely get you permanently suspended from the game for harassing Illyriad staff.
Repeated violations against chat policies that result in either automatic silences or GM initiated silences can result in the permanent suspension of your game account. Yes, we do keep track of how often these things happen. Please, take these chat rules seriously as I do not want to have to ban people for this sort of easily preventable behavior.
It is OK if you do not like our rules or chat policies. You are entitled to your opinion about them. But, while you are in game and in global chat, you must respect them. This goes across the board. It does not matter how long you've been playing the game or how much prestige you've purchased. Those things never factor into moderation decisions.
I, for one, am looking forward to the release of player-created chat rooms so that everyone is able to create their own chat spaces about various topics that are not typically welcome in GC (politics or religion for example). But until that time, GC is all we have so please be patient and respect the rules.
At this time I will leave this thread open for comments. If it descends into personal attacks on me or anyone calling me an "unfair chat nazi" or the like, I will close the thread. If you would like to discuss anything I've said here in a civil and respectful manner you are welcome to do so.
These statements reflect the official policy of Illyriad Games Ltd as a company. If you need to re-read the rules they can be found here.
(PS. The April 1 "de-snuggle" chat filter did not count as a real silence and thus anyone who participated in that does not have it counted negatively against their account in any way.)
Illyriad Community Manager / Public Relations / firstname.lastname@example.org