Criteria for rules
To prevent situations where the admin ends up affecting the era in an unpredictable way, the aim is for as many of the rules as possible to be black and white without any murky definitions or workarounds ("I'm not a sub, but a brother! No wait, an ally!").
Additionally all rules must be adequately enforceable (or there's no point having the rule... Cheaters benefit and fair players end up crippled) .
In return, the list must be complete (everything you do in game that may reasonably cause a problem should be listed) and as short as possible.
To explain as short as possible:
Ideally you just play, there are no rules. You have fun, enjoy yourself. Any rule should be something that cannot be solved (for now) with an update, that cannot be countered by players and that structurally threatens the (fair play of the) game.
Rules should never be a major part of the Battle Dawn experience, everything you can come up with that does not sound like cheating should not be against the rules (and should certainly not be bannable!) when possible.
Explanation of Rules
No swearing or personal threats (some banter is of course fine!)
We want a friendly, non-hostile community. Joining a game to find a bunch of people insulting each other puts people off.
Additionally people should always feel safe in game. If you can't backstab without being afraid of real life repercussions, this isn't a game anymore and it will grow unsustainable.
No placing/owning colonies or having friends place/own colonies purely to farm (XP, Outposts).
Simple. Being on a world just to give someone XP or Outposts would quickly unbalance the game. The advantage is just too great.
In case of doubt, when the player is not serious, admins should just remove. It's a competitive game in the end, and competitive play comes first.
You are allowed 1 account and 1 colony per world only. You can not control any others for any purpose.
No multi's. Duh.
You cannot in any way (intended or otherwise) benefit the alliance that has you conquered currently beyond the "tribute" resources. Namely you can not spam their enemies or purposefully create outposts you cannot defend.
Prevent OP farming the easy ways, prevents un-relocatable colonies.
The word "namely" is used for a reason. Be creative. No, conquering people just to have them stop someones expansions would also benefit said alliance beyond tribute resources. This also puts a lid on (extremely bad?) players who keep suiciding into their conqueror giving free xp. Sadly this does mean some degree of admin judgement, but if you're conquered, the effect should be limited and these cases shouldn't make a difference for an era.
No sharing your password to any other players for any reason whatsoever.
Wouldn't want people to sell accounts, do account give aways, or let others play on them, would we now. Also a massive part of our ToS
If for some reason one can not complete an era due medical problems or otherwise insurmountable and unpredictable inconvenience, permission may be asked (up front) to the admin to switch the ownership of the ruler on that world to a different (currently not placed) account
We're humane. Someone may get hurt. Someone may be hospitalized. Provide evidence and we'll try to not let that be any worse than it already is.
**If a team has won a world and are simply stalling it for score or any other reason, the admin reserves the right decrease the tick limit. **
In this situation the admin can start a vote and if successful this will result in an early tick limit. The minimum tick limit is 1000. You share your world with other players -- please be mindful of your peers and don't hurt the game!
1000 ticks is a more than fair bit to stretch a useless era. There's hundreds of players every world, some stick to that one world every era.
Having one stretched for score or whatever is incredibly painful as it means a lot of bored players and essentially a useless world. If it happens too often, the game has a real problem as after these eras, the world often ends up empty.
This rule is to protect the game, so no eras end pre-emptively, the admin is always the kickstarter (and can be informed a backstab is upcoming or such) and the players always confirm it (giving them a last chance of input, the team a form of notice to start hurrying up if they don't want it ended for them, with of course a fair margin so they can collect all relics if they stop stretching. Potentially the poll might overlap with this margin, but obviously any countdowns can be ended).
Any attempts, threats or even jokes about hacking, attacking, harming or compromising the admins, the game or other staff members will not be tolerated. Same for any threats on players. We all love the game - nobody should feel unsafe and if you don't like the game, you should simply find another one.
This is mostly to have a way to get rid of incredibly toxic people who think it's funny to create hoaxes that get rid of players and acceptable to make others feel unsafe.
No using a VPN or shared IP (including internet cafe's or IP's you know may connect to someone else eventually) without first receiving permission.
This includes siblings and so on. Please understand that to protect competitive play, we can not tolerate all potential scenarios around top players. Always ask permission up front, do not expect a warning.
There are a lot of school kids, younger players who end up logging in together. This doesn't really matter if they've no idea how to play and aren't capable of waging a war.
But they may end up pros one day.
Additionally some use internet cafe's (and should definitely ask up front! Or else every single cheating will be "Oh sorry was in an internet cafe!) and while we disagree with the mantra that you dont need a VPN if you have nothing to hide (it's good practice), we do need to make sure we dont end up with hundreds of people playing "from a VPN" on a team.
Some form of verification..
What's not there?
Anything we really just cannot adequately enforce or make solid decisions on. Yes, I know you dislike subs. So do we. No, we can not ban them. We'll never be able tell them apart from an ally without brainwashing everyone.
Crystal Farming - Honestly we've gone overboard with this. Obviously some worlds will have different rulesets (expect it from E5, for example), but on regular (team) worlds it's better for players to deal with this. If crystals move to a new team, you should just kill the new team. If they transfer between allies or a main team, ditto.
Ultimately there's so many workarounds otherwise.. What constitutes a war? Just killing their army? OK sit on colony, nuke kill... No? Then what? And how does the admin know what is an ally? How about trading them for peace? What if a team does not want to defend, is not defending an offence for either party? What if they just really suck and didnt get on in time to defend? How would you tell?
No decision made for crystal farming can be fully fair, as such, suggestions for that should probably be structural (change how crystals work).
Spamming - When does someone have good cause to spam? For who are they spamming? How to prove that?
It's not a clean tactic, but ultimately you can defend, ultimately the larger your empire is, the more difficult that becomes (thus being more advantageous to smaller, albeit more diplomatic/popular, teams. Reputation isn't negative per se, if you constantly behave like a jerk in game, perhaps it is fair you'll have to hide a bit. If you constantly help people and act respectful, perhaps it is fair a few more people will come to help you. Notice the perhaps )
Backstabbing - Part of the game. Deal with it. Even your own team.
How to deal with it? Call them out, make a topic. Kill them. Every era. Honor is also part of the game, but only to the degree players uphold it. Administration should not be forcing that, players however should. Just don't go too far now
There is a lot more, but the general jist is and remains:
EVERY RULE MUST BE ENFORCEABLE. EVERY RULE MUST HAVE CLEAR "LINES". NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A BAN WHILE PLAYING FAIR.
And finally, because something could happen does not mean it will. We should not cripple every era because theoretically Mrs C with 3000 friends could make a sub empire and fill the whole world upfront. If an edge case becomes common, we can add it later. We can however not undo the damage from crippling everyone to protect from an edge case that may never occur.
The less rules needed to protect the game, the better.
On admin actions:
We do reserve the right to put some restrictions on players to prevent cheating, in ways that do not (seriously) affect the outcome of the era (e.g. send us a message for ops you raze, for example, if youve been razing questionable ones).
Additionally if cheating is done, we'll go as far as possible undoing the effects (including indirectly (such as removing the res gained from deleted outposts) to an extent. Reviving/Compensating dead armies is often not possibly fair due the many factors involved and should not be done in indirect cases. "The cheating distracted me" or "I wouldnt have took that battle if said farm had not done x/y" or "That sharer used a spy on me, my lack of spy protection wouldnt have mattered otherwise!" are not valid cases. Your mistake remains your mistake and so on. Of course there's also examples of the contrary, if you lose your army due a bug that we didnt know yet, that cannot be countered and/or that we will fix/add to the rules, obviously we'll need to compensate. No, this does not include the myriad of undocumented tricks that admins (and vets) know of. Those are part of becoming a top player).
Finally as for punishment: Nothing is fair, everything is fair. If we've undone the effects of a cheat, I guess a ban is a nice bonus but that's certainly not the purpose. The purpose is to have a fair game environment.
If people help out a lot, make an honest mistake, are honest about what they did, we'll usually go easier on them.
If we fear they're cheating a lot more, we may go much tougher on them.
A temp ban may turn permanent because we don't think he'll ever stop cheating.
if you dont want to get banned, do not cheat. Your cards are already played at that point. Whatever you get at that point, you'll just have to suck it up and deal with it. You've failed to contribute to a positive (and free) game environment and potentially hurt many other players, whatever happens next is mercy.
That said, overall we're quite forgiving... We just want people to play fair, nobody gains anything (except maybe some outposts I guess...) from revenge.