Don’t be a jackass
In general including-but-not-limited-to terms, this means trolling, making racist or sexist comments, derailing threads, spamming, flaming, and being a nuisance. You’re welcome to disagree with people on the forums (us included!), but keep it respectful and keep it constructive (“The armor values of ship A are too low relative to ship B.” is fine, “STOP KILLING TEH GAME IDIOTS” is not). Keep the discussion about the idea, and not the person who had the idea. And let’s not discuss the Big Three: sex, politics, and religion.
We’re leaving this rule vague on purpose. The kind of person who needs the line explicitly drawn is also the kind of person who will stay as close to that line as humanly possible, which is irritating. Basically, if we think you’re being a jackass, we’ll ask you to stop. If you don’t, we’ll do something about it. We can’t put you in the stocks or keelhaul you, so this could mean removed posts, forum bans, in-game bans, item or doubloon removal, etc. We’re doing away with the infraction/fmov system. Instead we reserve the right to take whatever action we feel is appropriate.
Don’t use multiple accounts to be a jackass
Don’t create multiple accounts or use old accounts to try to get around moderation. Basically, if one of your accounts is forum banned, treat all of your accounts as forum banned. This one really gets our goat. This is the kind of thing that makes us start banning in-game accounts.
Don’t argue moderation on the forums
If you feel that you’ve been moderated unfairly, send a moderator a private message and plead your case. Don’t re-post something that’s been deleted or make snarky comments about the moderation or moderator, and especially don’t do either of those things lots of times.
Don’t discuss things that are against the rules or against the law
Every once in a while, someone finds a way to do something in a video game that they shouldn’t be doing. If you spot something that doesn’t look right, send in a support email or send a forum PM to one of the Portalus staff. Don’t post about it happening, and don’t post instructions on how to do it. Likewise, don’t discuss illegal activities. That includes software and music piracy and illegal drug use or anything else that law enforcement would be unhappy about.
We know that some of you want the forum to be the place where you rub your vanquished foes’ faces in their humiliating defeat, revel in the glory of your victory, and pound your chest like a war drum. We know that a lot of people enjoy the rivalries that come from that, and we want our forums to be a place you can do that. We just don’t want to make anyone see it who doesn’t want to. The Bilge is a hidden forum in which the rules against trolling and flaming are less rigorous. You have to keep it to the game, don’t get too personal, and all the other rules are still in effect. If you want the ability to see or post to this board, all you have to do is ask a moderator. This is very much an experiment, and if it gets out of hand we’ll turn it off.