IN-GAME RULES AND POLICIES
Last Updated: March 2, 2023
This page lists our specific policies for in-game behavior. This page is updated often, so take the time to familiarize yourself with its contents and read it regularly.
Questions regarding these rules or conduct expectations may obtain answers by contacting our support team.
Account Sharing and Selling
Active Nation Select
Selling Durability to Pirates
You may not share accounts with, buy accounts from, or sell accounts to other players. You may not let other players log into your account for any reason. Any items, ships, money, etc. lost as a result of account sharing, selling, or buying will not be reimbursed and accounts implicated in sharing, buying or selling may be permanently banned.
Active Nation Select allows you to change which nation you play with on your account. You can make this change in the first 72 hours after a server victory has occurred. To mitigate possible selection mistakes due to game mechanic misunderstandings we will allow each account one reset of the active nation selection if the mistake occurs during the first 30 days of the account's creation or as part of maintaining character access for a server transferred character.
You may not participate in game play while away from the keyboard. This includes all activities where there is a reasonable expectation that a player is at the keyboard when participating in them, (any activity requiring response from the player). We may at our discretion forcibly disconnect characters that are left logged in excessively in an AFK status. Depending on severity and/or repeated offenses accounts can be subject to suspension, forfeiture or ban for engaging in game play while in AFK status.
During the course of normal game play, players occasionally make catastrophic mistakes such as deleting very valuable items or item containers unintentionally. We will grant each account one account mulligan to reverse the effect of a catastrophic error. These mulligans are awarded on a case by case basis to reverse the effects of an obvious user error if possible but not to reverse loss effects inherent to the nature of the game, and are not guaranteed.
Deleted characters can be recovered, however we reserve the right to deny a restoration request if a player is putting undue strain on resources. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
A deleted character may be recovered once only. If a player has a deleted character recovered and then deletes it again, it will remain deleted.
Players may use multiple game accounts. When using multiple accounts account holders must adhere to the following restrictions:
- Players with a currently-active Subscription ("Active Subscribers") may have up to four (4) accounts logged in at any time from a single IP address, across all servers.
- Players without an Active Subscription ("Free-to-Play Users") may only have up to two (2) accounts logged in at any time from a single IP address, across all servers.
- The use of VPNs, Virtual Machines, Proxy Servers or other Routing methods in an attempt to conceal activity and circumvent the per-IP Address hard limit is not allowed.
- If more than one account is logged in at the same time on the same server, ALL logged-in accounts must be from the same nation if any account is:
- on the open sea
- in an open sea instanced battle
- in a port battle
- in a port that is in contention (red)
- in the Governor's Office
- using Governor Functions
- If a player holds a governor's position in game any additional governor positions must be of the same nation. A player may only be governor in one nation at any given time.
- You may not participate in conquest activities against a port that you have a character governing.
If it is determined by Vision Online Games that by use of multiple accounts a player is impacting the game in a manner detrimental to the game's overall health, Vision Online Games reserves the right to suspend or close the accounts in question.
Selling, gifting, or trading durability to pirates is a practice that is not allowed. Players who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, with repeat offenders risking permanent suspension of their Pirates of the Burning Sea account.
You may not use any software to modify the Software to change Game play. You may not create, facilitate, host, link to or provide any other means through which the Game may be played by others, such as through server emulators. You may not decrypt or modify any data transmitted between client and server and you may not use, post, host or distribute macros, “bots” or other programs which would allow unattended game play or which otherwise impact game play. You may not take any action which imposes an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our or our licensees’ or agents’ infrastructure. You may not buy, sell or auction (or host or facilitate the ability to allow others to buy, sell or auction) any Game account, characters, items, coin, Virtual Property or copyrighted material or any other intellectual property owned or controlled by us or our licensors without first obtaining our express written permission.
You may not harass other players. Continued unwanted contact or communication outside of the scope of the code of conduct is strictly forbidden, regardless of your location or the existence of chat filters or other mechanisms that may be in place to mitigate this type of behavior.
You may not disrupt the normal playability of a zone or instance. Zone/Instance disruption is defined as any activity designed to harm or inconvenience a player or group of players through the use of game mechanics in a way that is contrary to their intended purpose.
Disruption includes the use of language and/or actions intended to disturb groups of players or specific Zones or Instances in an effort to:
- Use in-game sounds, visuals, user created content, other effects as an effort to harass or annoy
- Flood in game chat channels with repeated messages, offensive messages or other content that is specifically designed to annoy or harass other players
- You may not threaten, or with malicious intent cause distress to other players.
- You may not send HTML Links (YouTube, Web Sites, etc) in Chat
- You may not operate a Society that habitually violates these rules, or a Society that is founded as a hate group or for the purposes of disrupting game play.
- You may not create user content with the specific purpose of harassing or annoying another player or group
Griefing is a type of Harassment, close kin to Poor Sportsmanship, or even Malign / Troublesome Behavior, intended to deliberately ruin the fun of competitive gameplay. It is a violation of the Rules which can lead to Account Suspension or even Closure. To ensure the wrong types of game experiences are not misrepresented as Griefing, we have laid forth specific guidelines to explicitly define what is Griefing and what is not, in Port Battles, while Blockading or Patrolling, when PvP-Flagged and when Players are in a Red Zone.
Port Battles: These timed events have more than one way to victory or defeat. These engagements are timed, and will conclude one way or the other regardless of time-delaying player actions. As such, in a Port Battle, non-engagement is not considered Griefing. One single surviving Player can run and hide, forcing the opponents into AvCom and fighting inside the Town. Similarly, disruptive behavior within a Port Battle, such as poor sailing leading to T-Bones with your own line, Clicking Out at the start of the Battle, etc., are not considered Griefing unless proven to be deliberate actions taken to influence the battle for the opposing side.
Blockading and Patrolling: Single-ship or small-fleet interdiction of Blockading or Patrolling Fleets, utilizing FLS's "Group Strength Lending" system to allow the small fleet to overcome normal Group Strength Restrictions and engage the larger fleet will no longer be permitted. Similarly, non-engagement tactics of a Patrol or Blockade will no longer be permitted. In the event this occurs, the Patrolling or Blockading Fleet that is being subjected to this behavior are instructed to reach out to an in-game GM, who will invisibly visit the fight, verify the behavior and take appropriate action.
PvP Flagged and Red Zone: If you have chosen to set your PvP Flag on, you are assuming the burden of PvP-based interactions with other Captains, some of whom may utilize non-engagement and other annoying tactics. However, setting your PvP Flag on is voluntary, and once it is on, no PvP interactions can be considered Griefing. Similarly, traveling into a Contention (Red) Zone is a voluntary action, and Captains who do so assume the full burden of any consequences that befall them in the Red.
Tagging and Non-Engagement on the Open Sea: The "Three Hit Rule" applies. To accommodate group-splitting tactics, a player or group can only "hit and run" without fighting twice. On the third hit, the attacking player or group must either (1) fight it out, (2) abandon ship, or (3) face an escalating Suspension from Customer Support starting at one Week, increasing to one Month, then Permanent Account Closure. "Round Robin" Tagging, which is repeated, rotated tagging by individual members of a Fleet in an attempt to stay-below-the-limit and circumvent the Three-Hit rule that separates splitting attempts from Griefing is now explicitly disallowed. If Round Robin Tagging is found to be taking place, punishment will be applied across all Captains who are participating in it.
Boarding Combat: If engaging in PvP, when being Boarded by your opponent, or choosing to Board your opponent, you have an obligation to fight. However, you are under no obligation to close with your enemy. If you are sufficiently quick and nimble on your feet to hang back and fire your pistol at range, dazzling, stunning, disorienting, darting in to stab now and again, these are all valid tactics. However, running around the ship, staying out of combat with your opponent and completely avoiding interaction is not. While not automatically considered Griefing, this behavior is counter to the purpose of the Boarding Action and the fight as a whole. Consequently, it falls under the "Three Hit Rule", and reports of this behavior can stack along with other Hits.
If a player is found to have disrupted an area of the world or a group of players, he/she may:
- Be given a warning
- Be prevented from speaking in in-game chat channels for a period of time
- Be temporarily suspended from the game if behavior continues
- Be permanently removed from the Pirates of the Burning Sea game service
Remember, warnings and bans may be issued at the discretion of Vision Online Games or its agents. IMPORTANT: Disciplinary issues involving Societies may be addressed with the entire Society. Societies with members that habitually violate our expectations may be issued warnings that are applicable to the entire Society. Societies that prove regularly problematic may face blanket suspensions, up to and including the permanent disbanding of the Society, and/or removal of some/all of its members from Pirates of the Burning Sea.
Players and Accounts are always associated, but there are different penalties that can be applied to each, as follows:
An account has three potential statuses. These are "Active", "Suspended" or "Closed". Accounts do not get Banned. The FLS Game Client only uses the word "banned" whenever access is denied, which led to a lot of confusion. To absolutely clarify:
- An "Active" account is an account that can be accessed by the registered account holder freely. "Active" status would indicate there is no reason on the server side of operation that would prevent the player from logging into the game.
- A "Suspended" account is an account that has temporarily had its access removed. All suspensions are for a specific length of time, after which the account will automatically shift back to its normal "Active" status.
- A "Closed" account has had its access removed permanently.
Players also have three statuses. These are either "Active", "Suspended" or "Banned". The FLS Game Client only used the word "Banned" to describe status at login, which made it inobvious if that was applied to the Account or the Player. To absolutely clarify:
- An "Active" player is a player who can access their registered accounts freely.
- A "Suspended" player is a player who currently has their accounts suspended. Player Suspension is temporary, and like Account Suspension, it is imposed for a set period of time, usually running in conjunction with the Account Suspension.
- A "Banned" player is a player who no longer is allowed access to the game -- permanently. This is an extraordinarily rare status that has been applied to less than 30 players over the entire history of the game. It is usually reserved for players who have engaged in major game damaging exploits, real-world criminal activity or players who have (by habitual rule violation) become actual resource drains on the game.
If you have a "Closed" account, this does not mean you are "Banned". It simply means that access to the closed account is denied. A Suspended Account means you automatically have a Player Suspension as well. You are not supposed to enter the game on any accounts until the Suspension is over, at which point the Suspended Account(s) will be active again. New accounts made while a Suspension is imposed will be closed.
Users who are "Player Banned" are Circumventing their Ban by being in the game, and should be aware that upon detection, any associated Accounts will be immediately closed.
IMPORTANT: Disciplinary issues involving Societies may be addressed with the entire Society. Societies with members that habitually violate our expectations may be issued warnings that are applicable to the entire Society. Societies that prove regularly problematic may face blanket suspensions, up to and including the permanent disbanding of the Society, and/or removal of some/all of its members from Pirates of the Burning Sea.
If you encounter another player using game chat in an inappropriate or offensive manner you should contact our support team to report the incident.
Please note the server and time of the incident (with time zone) in the report.
Customer service will investigate all reports and if the chat behavior is found to be in violation of conduct standards suspension may be applied to the account holder in violation. Some examples of chat behavior that may be in violation of conduct standards are:
- Religious or Political
- Graphic sexual references
- Graphic violence descriptions
- Business Advertising
- Disruptive Discussion (religious/political)
Please note - we do not hold all chat channels to the same standards. Global chat channels such as Nation and Local chat are held to higher standards that more private channels such as Group, Society and Tells due to their access and default settings. Some otherwise-disallowed public chat behavior (except threats, which are never allowed) may be allowed in more private chat settings.
Do not repeat offensive chat from other players in chat channels as players engaging in this behavior may also be subject to penalty.
In game chat or threads posted to our forums accusing or identifying players that are believed to be in violation of game rules will be removed. All rule violation reports must go through our support team for investigation. Violators of this rule may be muted and/or be suspended.
You may not post, broadcast or reproduce in-game or on official forums or websites, without express written permission, any private correspondence between official representatives of Vision Online Games or Flying Lab Software and community members. This includes any private messages, conversations or support ticket responses involving GMs, Developers and Forum Moderators.
Violation of game rules or conduct standards may result in warning, suspension or ban of accounts and/or account holders. Our customer service/support team will be the sole arbiters of all violation determinations and assessed penalties.
Accumulated warnings and/or suspensions of any kind may result in the permanent closure of an account holders game accounts. Penalties may be applied to game societies as a whole, along with associated accounts of society member account holders, if a society accumulates too many rule violations by society members.
You may file an appeal to any warning,suspension or ban by contacting our support team. Appeals must contain reference to specific warnings, suspensions or bans and include explanation of penalized behavior mitigating factors for consideration.