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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Community Rules Update

    One of the things that has been a long-term project of mine is to update the Community Guidelines to better reflect the needs of Standing Stone Games, to more accurately describe the rules as we apply them, and to remove the overly rules-lawyer-ey speak that the "guidelines" have long had.

    In many ways, things will not change in practice, but they are presented differently. The main change from a practical perspective is we no longer utilize a system of points and total-infraction thresholds. Frankly, if someone needs to go, they need to go, and being bound to a system of points and total infractions makes little sense.

    This change brings with it a potential significant bit of news: Many players now have a clean slate, or nearly clean slate, with many of their old infractions removed from the system. In some cases, this may actually cause some forum accounts to be unbanned. This includes some people who in the past were banned through a combination of total infractions issued. We have preserved some of the worst infractions, including Terms of Service violations, Spam-related bans, hate speech, and other instant-ban infractions. We have also preserved some of the old "five and ten point" infractions regarding racist posts and the like. However, most of the old 10 and under point infractions have been removed altogether. If you were previously banned and no longer are, welcome back! Please keep in mind that we are prepared to re-ban forum accounts as needed to foster the community and properly apply the Community Rules.

    As always, the Community Rules can be found here: https://www.lotro.com/en/content/community-rules

    For the purposes of increased visibility, I will also repost the rules below. Thank you for being a part of the LOTRO community, and we look forward to reading your posts for a long time to come.

    Community Rules

    Standing Stone Games strives to foster a welcoming, friendly, and active community that enjoys playing our games. To that end, here are some rules we need you to follow. Having a diverse and friendly environment is very important to us, and it is your key to finding people to play with for years to come.

    Remember that moderators have to make decisions all the time that require context. Applying the rules isn’t a robotic or mathematical process; mods often deal with shades of grey rather than black and white. Our Community Rules are not meant to fuel "rules lawyers"; rather, they are general guidance to help you understand what our expectations are.

    These are the things we expect you to do:

    • Be nice! A friendly and welcoming environment is very important, as it allows gamers from all walks of life and skill levels to participate.

    • Respect people. We ask that you respect others whether you agree with them or not. That means, in part:
      • Don't insult or harass others: Insulting or harassing people says more about you than it does the person you are insulting or harassing.
      • Don't troll: Trolling disrupts conversation and leads to long-term problems. Remember that you can strongly disagree with someone and not post about it, and can instead voice your own opinion without insulting others. This is also more productive and valuable to us. It's okay if someone is wrong on the Internet!
      • Don't accuse people of being trolls: Simply report their posts and move on. Calling someone a troll is a form of trolling.
      • Don't use loaded words to insult a group of players: The use of the words, "fanboy", "fanbois", "cheerleaders", "haters", or similar-meaning language, is insulting and not okay.

    • Don't call for devs or other SSG employees to be fired, killed, get sick, etc. We take this very seriously, even if you mean it as "a joke".

    • Don't be abusive to SSG employees or forum moderators. We appreciate constructive negative criticism, but cruel and ugly language is not allowed.

    • No Racism, inappropriate content, or other -isms: Writing about or linking to racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and other inappropriate content will get you infracted or banned. We also don’t want sexually-explicit, violent, or gross stuff on our forums or social channels.

    • We do not permit "Naming and Shaming". Publicly accusing someone of misbehavior, whether true or not, is not allowed. We do not conduct trials in the court of public opinion, nor do we want to create a situation where players are forced to defend themselves publicly against untrue, misleading, or only partially accurate allegations.

    • No Doxxing: Posting someone's account information, email address, or other personally-identifying information is a serious offense, and will not be tolerated.

    • No profanity, please. That also includes using symbols (#$^$@) or spaces/p.u.n.c.t.u.a.t.i.o.n to get around filters.

    • Don't bring up old arguments in unrelated threads. You and someone else got into a 13-page dispute over whether shields should have handles, and will never agree on anything ever again because of it. You and the other person (or people) should stop responding to each other, at least for the time being. Regardless of how you choose to proceed, we don't want the topic brought up again and again in threads that have nothing to do with whether shields should have handles.

    • We are a Politics and Religion-free zone. That also includes political language and discussions that amount to political or religious debates.

    • Keep private messages private. Do not publicly post anything written to you in a Private Message without the express permission of the person who wrote it.

    • Don't Spam the forums. If you violate the Code of Conduct by attempting to sell something for real money, or direct people to a spam site, you'll be banned. If you're simply spamming the same post or thread over and over, you're annoying others, and we'll put a stop to it.

    • Please don't join the Grammar Police. Since we welcome players from across the world, you will encounter posts written by people who are not native English writers. We also know that some people have their own writing quirks. If it annoys you too much to read a poorly-written post, don’t read it.

    • Keep the train on the tracks: Derailing official discussion threads makes it difficult for us to gather targeted feedback, so it's important that we sometimes moderate official discussion threads heavily to ensure that the feedback stays on target.

    • Don't create multiple accounts to engage in trolling, or to circumvent a forum ban. Depending on the circumstances and severity, we may ban your in-game account for doing this.

    How do Warnings and Infractions work, and how do you get banned?

    When a post is deemed to violate the rules, moderators have the ability to issue a warning or infraction. Moderators need to be able to support and foster discussion, while making our forums and other community sites a place where players from all skill levels and walks of life are welcomed. To that end, moderators will issue warnings, infractions, or bans as needed to support our goals. Moderators can also give you a “time out”, where they have to approve your posts before they are displayed publicly to others, regardless of how many infractions or points you’ve earned. This allows us to give people time to cool off without having to ban them. Warnings are just that, and don’t count towards disciplinary thresholds.

    Appealing a ban

    Most players never get infracted or banned. That said, if you are banned and feel it was done in error, send in a ticket to Community through help.standingstonegames.com. Please make sure to include your forum display name in addition to your game account name in the ticket, and explain why you feel your posting privileges should be reinstated.

    If you were banned a long time ago, and feel you are now able to participate in the community without being a problem, you can appeal your ban as well. A moderator will look at what caused you to be banned, consider your appeal, and make a decision. Typically, if you are allowed back into the community and start causing problems again, you'll be re-banned quickly.

    We like you! Thank you for being here.

    We hope you enjoy talking about our games on the forums and other social channels, and welcome you to the community. We've found over the years that our community is one of our greatest strengths, and our players’ high level of intelligence and creativity makes our games a better place. We thank you for following these common-sense rules, and hope you have a fun time for many years to come.

    The Standing Stone Games Team
    Last edited by Cordovan; Aug 30 2017 at 05:55 PM.
    Community Manager, Lord of the Rings Online
    Follow LOTRO on: Twitter - Facebook - Google+ - Pinterest - Twitch - YouTube
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    Support: help.standingstonegames.com



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