Hi there. I'm PPS_Mod:Josh, one of the moderators on the forums. I've written this up to try and introduce our new members (like yourself) to the rules of the forums. I'll try to keep things short and to the point, but also make sure you have a good idea of how you're expected to behave around here.
How To Avoid Getting Banned
You're new here, so I doubt you want to leave soon- or permanently. So here's the secret of how not to get banned:
Don't be a jerk.
That's it. That's what it all boils down to. You have a lot of people on these forums who are your peers- your equals. They're no better and no worse than you are. They may have skills or experience you lack, or they may just have a different perspective. Regardless, you're expected to be nice to them, and treat them the same way you want to be treated.
And Privateer? Same thing goes. Don't be a jerk. You don't have to like every model, but keep in mind someone spent hours on the artwork, someone spent hours on the rules, someone spent hours sculpting it, someone spent hours painting it- the whole nine yards. Keep things constructive, and try to maintain a positive tone. We'll revisit that in a bit.
Up on the menu bar, underneath the 'What's New?' section, you'll see the FAQ. This has a lot of important information in it, but one of the most important parts is this one:
One of the other important parts is that 'but are not limited to' clause: there have been people in the past who've tap-danced in grey areas or tried to argue the rules. That's never helped the forums as a whole, and we're not going to allow you to be a jerk because you found a loophole. That isn't a clause allowing the moderators to be jerks, either- we have to follow our own set of rules of behavior.Prohibited behavior:
Prohibited behaviors include (but are not limited to):
- profanity, vulgarity, or explicit content, including:
- "masking" by using alternative characters/spellings and spaces to get around profanity filters, leet-speak, and combinations of words that produce an offensive result
- discussion of sexually explicit material
- discussion of graphic violence or bloodletting
- posting, uploading, or linking to sexually explicit or graphically violent materials
- hate speech (e.g. racial, ethnic, sexist, homophobic and religious slurs)
- promotion of or engaging in certain illegal activities, For example: drugs, drug paraphernalia, rape or solicitation of a minor, computer hacking, and copyright violation
- harassment of another specific person (e.g. persistent flaming or continued personal attacks on the forums)
- posting inflammatory statements designed to elicit a negative response from the community
- spamming through repeated posts, or off-topic content
- advertising or promoting a business or commercial site (see the 'retailer info' forum TOS for the sole exception)
- registering and using multiple forum member accounts without permission
- using another member's account.
- advertising products for trade or sale to other members
- posting web addresses of stores offering discounts greater than 10% on Privateer Press products
It is worth noting there's additional guidelines regarding what you can and can't post- this is mostly a legality thing, rather than relating to being a jerk. We'll go into those next post, but for the moment, let's just summarize the important points:
- Don't advertise for competitors.
- Don't post Privateer art or images they haven't already shared.
- Don't post complete stats for things.
- For further restrictions, check the Discussion forum.
Here's something worth noting: you can be positive and also be critical. It sounds funky, but it's true. Let's look at a couple examples:
"I don't like it, myself- but I don't play that faction. If you guys think it's cool, more power to you."
"What a crappy model. Good thing I don't play that faction. Sucks to be you guys."
The first one is acceptable, the second isn't. It's going to be more helpful if you can say why you don't like something, "I dunno- I just don't care for the way the armor looks on those guys relative to the rest of the faction," but the ultimate thing is the same as what we said above. Don't be a jerk.
If you honestly can't figure out whether or not your way of saying something will come across as negative, imagine saying it in an angry voice to a seven year old kid. Did it come across as a horrible, mean thing to say? If it did, or you're not sure, try rephrasing it. You're on a forum- text is an unforgiving medium. Even if you don't mean it to sound angry, it can sound angry.
The Report Button
Of course, you might notice someone else being a jerk. The best response for this is the report button. If you look at any post (including this one) you'll see a little triangular grey hazard symbol at the bottom left. That's the report button. You can click it and it'll send a note to the moderators that they need to check out the post to see if someone's breaking the rules.
Only moderators will know a post has been reported, and only moderators will know if something's been done as a result- unless we delete or edit it.
Keep in mind that reporting does a lot more than just responding to a jerk by being a jerk. If you respond in kind, we're going to deal with both of you- but less harshly. If you don't like how someone's behaving, report them and leave it alone. We'll handle things.
Of course, reporting someone maliciously is also bad. It's like pulling a fire alarm when there's no fire. Trying to use the report function as a weapon will backfire on you. So make sure you use it responsibly.
What Happens If You Break The Rules
There's a lot of options for what can be done if you break the rules. This can include deleting or editing posts , particularly if there's nothing redeeming in them (we refer to these as 'litter posts'), sending you a message warning you to behave yourself, or infractions.
Infractions are like strikes in baseball, or cards in soccer. Accumulating them is a bad idea. One isn't that big of a deal- it's a chance to reform your behavior and move on. Two will earn you a three week vacation from the forums. Three and you're gone for good.
If you have any questions, ask. The moderators (including myself) are here to be helpful, not just enforcers of the rules. If you aren't sure whether something's okay to post, ask us and we'll tell you. If you aren't sure about how to do something or who to talk to, ask us and we can give you answers.
We want these forums to be a place where we can all talk about the games we enjoy in a pleasant, community atmosphere. So long as you're willing to help us in that task (by behaving yourself) you're more than welcome to join us.