Zero-K:Code of Conduct

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Code of Conduct updated as of January 2021: previous version can be found here.

The extremely TL;DR version

Treat other members of the community with respect. Don't be a dick.

The TL;DR version

  • Be polite.
  • Be patient with new players and help them where you can.
  • Play in a way that is respectful to your team.
  • Kick and exit polls are powers on loan from moderators. Do not misuse them.
  • Don't be disruptive, rage or grief.
  • Don't reveal information while spectating, explicitly or implicitly.
  • Don't cheat.
  • Don't evade moderator actions by creating new accounts, making rooms with abusive titles, etc.
  • Only discuss provocative topics like politics or religion in #off-topic or the Asylum subforum.
  • Don't post or link to pornographic content or sites anywhere.
  • Don't make multiple accounts without a good reason.

Code of Conduct - General rules of Zero-K community

Zero-K strives to create a welcoming and friendly gaming environment. This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for members of the Zero-K community. We ask that you abide by this code in public games, in public chat, and in the public forums and Discord.

1. Respect Other People

  • Be mindful of your language and tone. Good-natured banter is tolerated; being hostile and abusive is not. Remember that intentions can be lost in the format of text chat. Do not flood chat with messages or otherwise attempt to annoy others or disrupt games.
  • Don't be hostile or abusive when other players play poorly or ignore your advice. Blaming other players for a loss can easily become hostile and abusive. Don't direct your frustration at others.
  • Spectators can chat with players, offering advice or conversation, in some of the more casual game types. Avoid excessive public commentary, revealing hidden information, and do not heckle. If a player wants to play without interruption then the spectators should respect this desire and cease using public chat. Feel free to discuss the game in spectator chat (hotkey Alt + Enter). Check for the a: or s: in front of your chat message.
  • We do not tolerate language or any other form of communication that is abusive, bigoted, racist, or sexist.
  • If somebody has a user name or commander name in poor taste the moderators may require that this name be changed. We do try to be reasonably flexible. If your user name needs changing, or if you need an opinion on whether a name is in poor taste, contact a moderator. (Specific wording of this point, and guidance as to the definition of "poor taste", pending review by moderator team.)
  • Remember that on the forum you are voting about the post, NOT the person. For example, even if you disagree with something that somebody has said or done, do not downvote unrelated posts of theirs on the forum. Abuse of forum votes in this way may result in the deletion of some or all of your forum voting history.

2. Help New Players

  • You are not obligated to interact with new players, but if you do, offer them friendly advice and help with any issues they may have. Mentor them and teach them how to play. Be forgiving of their mistakes and be sympathetic when they fail to perform well.
  • Do not expect or demand that other players (new or otherwise) follow your advice, and do not insult or abuse them if they do not listen to you.

3. Cooperate With Your Team

  • When playing in a team game, do your best to coordinate with your teammates and to work for the mutual success of the whole team. Communicate your intentions. Ask for help when needed and offer it to others when they need it.
  • Understand that not everyone on your team will be willing or able to communicate and cooperate to the same degree; have patience with them and do your best even so.
  • Pursuing all-or-nothing strategies without the consent of your team, or resigning on your own because you faced an early minor setback, is disrespectful to your teammates. A pattern of such behavior may result in moderator action, and in any case you will be damaging your own reputation in the community.
  • Do not grief, teamkill, or otherwise attempt to sabotage your team or any of your teammates. This includes deliberately playing poorly in order to ruin the game. Note that using tactics that others disagree is allowed, as long as you are attempting in good faith to play well and are not trying to ruin others' enjoyment of the game.

4. Maintain Fairness

  • Do not cheat. Cheating includes using any method that would give you information that is usually obscured by the fog of war. Custom widgets that control specific units, sound warnings, place marks etc. are generally fine; widgets which perform tasks a human could not reasonably replicate, may cause performance issues for other players, or essentially play the entire game for you should be discussed with the developers first. Particularly useful widgets should be released publicly, both to reduce unfairness and because this is one of the ways Zero-K receives improvements.
  • Spectators with access to public chat should avoid giving away hidden information. Err on the side of caution - even apparently innocuous messages can give away information in subtle ways. It is especially important for resigned players to leave their former team to play out the remainder of the game without your input. Feel free to discuss the game in spectator chat (hotkey Alt + Enter).

5. Respect Moderator Actions

  • Moderator arbitration is intended to resolve disputes, not prolong them; as such, we expect you to respect and abide by their decisions. Do not try to avoid penalties such as mutes and bans by using other accounts; mute/ban dodging of any kind is punishable by immediate banning of any alternate accounts used and often an extension or increase in the original penalty.
  • Moderators use their best judgement in deciding when to impose penalties and how severe to make them. They consult with each other to ensure their judgement is appropriate and fair. When reviewing potential violations of this Code of Conduct, moderators apply the spirit rather than the letter of the law. Warnings are preferred over penalties, but penalties can and will be applied where warnings are ignored or the severity of the violation warrants it. New players are given the benefit of the doubt; repeat offenders and verbally abusive players are not.
  • If you feel a moderator has acted unfairly, you may file a complaint using the "Contact administrators" button on your user page or (if absolutely necessary) on the forum and explain your position. Please be respectful to all parties when discussing the issue. Rants are highly unlikely to lead to a productive outcome and will often simply result in a thread lock.

6. Use Polls Responsibly

  • Several tools available to players (including kicking players and exiting a game) are ordinarily moderator powers but are available to users by means of a poll for cases when a moderator is not available. These tools should only be used in ways that a moderator would use them.
  • In particular do not kick players for failing to play or cooperate to your standards. Kicking players for griefing is acceptable, but in the heat of the moment it is often very difficult to distinguish between griefing and unintentional poor play. It is best to assume that all poor play from new players is unintentional since learning ZK is hard. If you demonstrate poor judgement when using kick polls you may be prohibited from using them in future or banned outright.
  • Do not start polls excessively. A poll is unlikely to pass if it failed decisively a few minutes ago, barring large changes to the situation, so spamming polls is a form of disruptive chat. Do not use polls as a heightened means of expression, such as starting a kick poll to express your displeasure at a player rather than out of any belief that the poll will pass.

7. Avoid inflammatory discussion topics

  • Due to their highly inflammatory nature, political and religious discussions are relegated to the semi-hidden "asylum" section of the forum and the "#off-topic" channel in lobby and Discord. Please avoid bringing them up elsewhere.
  • Note that even in these subforums/channels the other parts of the Code of Conduct still apply. Furthermore, especially contentious or distasteful subjects may be restricted even in these channels on a case by case basis.
  • Posts or links to pornographic content/sites or similarly unacceptable material are forbidden and will result in bans.

8. Multiple accounts

Explicitly prohibited uses for an alternate account which will result in a ban:

  • Cheating the rating/balancing system to appear less skilled/lower ranked. Any alternate account which is playing rated games (no matter whether it is matchmaker or casual rating, and no matter what the comparative ratings of the two accounts are) will be treated as violating this rule.
  • Evading bans, mutes, etc. on your main account

Repeated creation of alternate accounts for prohibited purposes are liable to result in escalating bans on your main account as well.

Explicitly permitted uses for an alternate account:

  • Development/testing purposes
  • Running tournaments or similar events
  • Multiple people playing on different accounts on the same computer or from the same location

If you have multiple accounts for one of the above permitted reasons, please use the "Contact administrators" button on your user page to notify the admins of this fact. This is not strictly required but will avoid potential misunderstandings.

Generally permitted, but no promises:

  • After a long period of inactivity, rejoining the community on a new account, and not playing on the old account. (Note that if you have just forgotten the password to your old account, the admins are able and willing to reset it for you.)

If you have a purpose for an alternate account which is not covered by any of the above points, contact a moderator to discuss it.

Exceptional Situations

The goal of the Zero-K moderation team is to do the right thing by the Zero-K project. This goal includes but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Generally making the Zero-K community a fun place for people to hang out and play the game.
  • Maintaining an environment which encourages current and potential developers and content creators to contribute to the Zero-K project.
  • Maintaining an environment which allows the moderators to promote the above goals without unreasonable costs personally or to the community.

Not every situation is explicitly covered by the Code of Conduct. Sometimes this is because the Code of Conduct is insufficiently specific; this is necessary if it is to be kept to a reasonable length. At other times, events can occur that are so extreme that the Code of Conduct and the precedent of previous modactions does not fully cover the situation. The spirit of this goal takes precedence over the exact wording of the Code of Conduct.