Greetings, citizens! We hope the holiday season finds you well. We are glad to be part of such a wonderful community! That said, there has been a rash of bans over the past few months – bans that, in most cases, were further escalated by the banned user in question to the point of a permanent ban – so a bit of clarification on the rules is probably in order.
In general, most of you are upstanding citizens, and will never even see so much as a warning – and we thank you for that. We would much prefer it if everyone was upstanding, and we never had to issue a ban – a ban pulls a member out of the community, and there's been at least one case where a user we ended up banning had created a very engaging discussion about one aspect of the Frostpunk universe. However, this subreddit should be a place where people can engage in polite conversations about the game (or other things as they may relate to the Frostpunk universe.) Though we'll try other means when reasonable, we will resort to a ban if we feel it is necessary.
We'll go over the subreddit rules and some of the potential nuance behind them. The rules that have been a bigger problem will naturally get more elaboration.
Rule 1 – Low-effort, Low-quality, Reposts
We like memes as much as anyone else, but when a post is a few words and leaves next to no room for discussion, it'll probably be taken down. As far as reposts go, we're generally lenient on that as well – we're not going to pull /u/repostsleuthbot on anything you happen to share. Typically, posts get removed for being a repost if the same thing is resubmitted soon after it gets off the front page (or, shudder, while it's still on the front page.) Overall, Rule 1 is something that's very hard to even get a warning for, let alone a ban – we'll just remove the post in question and edify you.
Rule 2 – Relevant and Topical Content
Generally, things submitted should be related to Frostpunk in some way. There is quite a bit of leeway here – at our discretion, we can allow something to stand, even if it isn't directly related to Frostpunk, if it can be related to the Frostpunk universe in some way and create discussion. Do note that this is at our discretion, however – we might end up removing a post for Rule 2 even if there was an effort to connect it to the Frostpunk universe if we feel it doesn't fit or doesn't have much potential for discussion.
Rule 3: Appropriate Behaviour, NSFW
This is, by far, what gets people in trouble the most, and has been at least one of the reasons for any ban issued in the past few months, and, barring some really odd scenario I cannot think of right now, is the only rule where an egregious enough violation will get you banned without a warning. The concept of the rule is simple enough: don't be a dick. As long as you're respectful, you will be fine.
Now, you're not automatically free of Rule 3 just because you're not calling someone a dumbass or moron. Our intent is to maintain a pleasant community – if you're being hostile to other people, you may still be politely reminded of Rule 3 even if you're not hurling slurs. We aren't looking to give people just enough room to toe the line, and be as much of a dick as they can get away with.
That being said, some examples of things (besides the obvious) that may result in moderator involvement include:
Ad hominem arguments. Contrary to popular belief, ad hominem isn't simply insulting someone else – you can use an ad hominem argument without insulting someone, and you can insult someone in an argument that isn't ad hominem. Ad hominem specifically refers to an attempt to dismiss an argument based on some personal quality of the person making it. (e.g. saying "Why would anyone buy that, coming from a high school dropout?" would be an ad hominem argument, as it attempts to dismiss the argument on the ground that the person making it dropped out of high school. Saying "That's wrong because of X, Y, and Z, but I wouldn't expect some idiot who couldn't even pass high school to understand" is not, because it attempts to dismiss the argument on its own merits, and the comment about the person making it is an aside.) Regardless of whether they contain insults or not, ad hominem arguments tend to lead to things getting heated and personal, so it's possible that you'll be asked to cut it out if you make one.
Calling other people bad at the game. Yes, we get it, not everyone can do your deathless, no Child Labour, no shift laws, no Cookhouse, no Workshop run of Refugees on Survivor, but telling other players that they suck adds nothing productive and only makes you look like the sort of insufferable elitist the refugees were trying to get away from. Instead, if you think a player is lacking in some area, you can offer some friendly advice if they're open to it.
Saying stuff like "that's the dumbest take I've seen this year" or similar, while not directly insulting a person, is just asking for a fight. If you disagree with someone, feel free to politely explain why.
Needless to say, you don't get a waiver on Rule 3 just because you're talking to a moderator. Flaming a moderator, daring them to ban you, and expecting them not to is like aggressively tailgating a marked police car, flipping off the driver, and expecting to not get pulled over. If you think this sounds ridiculous, so do we, but this is brought up because people have actually used this logic. Rule 3 is the rule we have the least leniency for, and we aren't afraid to enforce it.
Rule 4: Accusations, Call to action, Witch-Hunting
Randomly accusing someone or some group (public figure or otherwise) of something without proof will get you warned for Rule 4. Witch hunts can be rather damaging to a party's reputation, regardless of the truth of the allegations, and we do not entertain them here. If you are going to levy an accusation against someone, and you have proof, you need to be cleared by the moderation team first (and even then, there's no guarantee we will allow it, when there are many issues inherent to such a thing.) You're free to criticize 11 bit studios as you would be any other game developer, (e.g. "they don't care about their players", etc.), but saying that, for example, they're part of some Russian plot to mind control the world will probably get you hit for Rule 4 unless you're linking a Reuters article featuring some investigative journalism going up to the Kremlin or something. If you're not offering some damning accusation, but instead just criticizing them based on something demonstrably false, you will get a correction instead if someone feels like offering one (e.g. "they don't even patch their broken games" will probably be met with a link to some patch notes.) Rule 4 is not an attempt to snuff out criticism.
You can't try to agitate people into some unified course of action. This includes both something active (e.g. staging a mass e-mail campaign to CD Projekt Red) and something non-active (e.g. organizing a boycott of Cyberpunk 2077 until the game doesn't have more bugs than a rotting corpse in a crazed entomologist's terrarium.) If you do try, we'll lock you up like the one agitator outside the prison.#Prison_-_Fault_in_the_system)
Rule 5: Self Promotion, Giveaways, Surveys
You should get moderator approval before doing any of the above. Generally, you should follow the 9-1 guideline – HOWEVER, do keep in mind that this is a guideline. Posts may be kept up even if don't perfectly meet this guideline, if we feel it is in the best interest of the community, or the person in question is making a legitimate attempt to engage with the community in other ways – especially if the other things they submit obviously took a bit of effort. On the other hand, you're probably not going to get a pass if you just make 9 comments of "Yeah" or "I agree" in random places in between your self-promotion posts. It's the spirit of the rule that's more important.
Rule 6: Spoiler, Leaked or Pirated Content
Information that's gotten by someone violating an NDA won't be permitted here until either an official confirmation, or confirmation by someone who was allowed to share the information they received. In addition, endorsing piracy of content, asking for links to pirated content, or endorsing sites which are known to regularly host stolen content is not allowed.
As far as spoilers go, the game has been out for over two years, so we're generally lenient there. If a new player is asking how to get past Londoners, however, marking anything after that event as a spoiler is the right thing to do.
Rule 7: Fact Check & Original Content
Basically, this is not the place to spread misinformation. This includes things both in-game and out-of-game.
People very often come here for help, and even those who aren't coming here directly for help are often new; thus, it is in the best interests of many here that the information presented to them is accurate. Simply posting something in confidence that turns out to be incorrect is not a violation; you will simply be corrected if it is caught. Neither is posting speculation about game mechanics, or noting your own personal observations about them. Some people are still discovering intricacies about game mechanics to this day.
That said, insisting on something that is incorrect after being formally corrected will get you a warning. If a moderator is formally correcting you on something involving the game, it is because the claim you are making is inarguably, demonstrably false. Continuing to double down after being corrected will result in a warning; needless to say, repeatedly doing something that is warnable will get you a temporary ban. If you feel a correction is mistaken, you can send a video of the relevant mechanic to us, and we will be able to see where you went wrong. A moderator just saying something that's contradictory to something you said doesn't necessarily fall under this (e.g. if we bring up what we believe is the trigger for a certain event when you mention what you believe the trigger might be.) Some things, like event triggers, aren't immediately obvious, and many require multiple conditions be met. This pertains to things that are very clearly obvious and can be demonstrated, like the heat (or lack thereof) provided by a working automaton (which can easily be verified by looking at the temperature gauge.) This probably sounds scarier than it is – but in essence, you have nothing to worry about unless you insist on something that can easily be disproved with a screenshot or short video, after being provided as much.
This subreddit is also not the place for you to share your conspiracy theories. We don't care to entertain your claims about climate change being made-up here. (You would think that Frostpunk players would be some of the last to dismiss the idea of climate change. You would be wrong…)
What do I do if I get banned?
If it's a temporary ban, you can appeal it, or just wait it out; if it's a permanent ban, an appeal is your only option. Outside of the cases where we've made an error, it's generally very hard to appeal a permanent ban, as they're given out for repeated or egregious rule violations. It's probably not impossible, if you can show you have a good understanding of why you got banned and why what you got banned for isn't allowed, and can show sincerity; however no user to date who has been permanently banned has come remotely close to doing that.
On that note, your chances of successfully appealing a ban might be somewhat lower if you flame the mods before (or during) your appeal. There are many rules we are lenient on enforcing, and the vast majority of the subreddit's members never receive a warning; the chances that we chose to randomly flex the banhammer on one particular user for the hell of it when we are usually laissez-faire are… well, zero. Bans are shared in full disclosure with the rest of the moderation team; we all hold each other accountable. In addition, arguing that you were unfairly banned is a pretty good indication that you cannot accept the reason for your ban, and thus shows that you are still not a fit for the community. If you don't know why you were banned, feel free to ask, and we will answer.
What you should not do is edit posts or comments you've already made in an effort to get a word in after your ban. That'll just end up in the removal of whatever you edited, thread/post locks, and a much more difficult time appealing your ban.
Thank you guys for continuing to be a fun community to work with. I wish I didn't have to make posts like this, but I would rather you all know where we stand so we don't have to ban anyone. Seriously, people seem to be under the impression that banning people is fun, when it's really not.
Besides that, have a wonderful holiday season. Here's hoping 2021 will be better!
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© Post "Listen, everyone! Some clarification on the rules of this subreddit, and how they are enforced" for game Frostpunk.
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