Welcome to PureZC.
We're trying to keep a relaxing atmosphere around here, but there are some rules that we have to ask our members to follow in order to keep the peace. We believe these rules are rather straightforward, but they also have a fair bit of flexibility. Thus, the staff is free to interpret them as they see fit. So please don't debate semantics with us.
We are generally fair people and we discuss things amongst ourselves before taking any serious actions. We are also capable of making mistakes, but we are willing to fix them if there is logical reasoning for it. So feel free to make appeals by private message (PM) or the Staff Dropbox if you think there is a problem.
Keep in mind that there are some forums with additional rules and guidelines to follow. Check the pinned topics in each forum you wish to post in.
Site & Forum Rules
1. Respect Others
Everyone on PureZC is equal and is entitled to be able to be themselves and express themselves in a way that does not harm anyone else. We want the community to be a place where everyone feels safe to voice their thoughts without being attacked or insulted. Any disrespectful attitude or actions toward other members or the staff is strictly prohibited. This can manifest itself in different ways: harassing another member (on the forums, via PM, or in the IRC channel), undermining others’ reviews and opinions, talking down to other members, and more.
Since this disrespect can come in lots of varieties and severities, the staff are the ultimate deciders for what constitutes disrespectful behavior and to what degree. Punishments will be made accordingly depending on the degree of disrespectful behavior. Remember that what may seem disrespectful to you may not to other people and vice versa, so the staff will do their best to determine this as an unbiased party (even discussing it with other staff members if needed).
2. SPAM tastes terrible.
SPAM can be considered Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages. If your post has no substance, it will be considered SPAM. If it is actually a reply to something and can mean something, then you're fine.
Agreeing with an opinion with a post like "I agree with that" is just fine. "adfjlfs BWADKSFJGDgghfjniw" is not.
3. There should only be one account per member.
If you register multiple accounts, any additional accounts past the original will be banned and the original account will be held responsible. If you were already banned and you are doing a ban evasion, expect that ban to be extended (possibly indefinitely).
4. The staff handles punishments.
Do not suggest, recommend, or demand punishments (especially bans) for members that you feel are breaking the PureZC rules. The staff decides on such punishments since that is part of what they were hired to do.
We also frown upon people using the staff as a threat with statements such as "you better stop or I'll report you to the staff!" or "I reported this! Have fun getting smacked by the staff!" If there is a problem and you feel the staff might need to step in, just go ahead and report it. There is no need to antagonize members with staff threats.
If you submit a report, keep in mind that the issue has been handed over to the staff. Reports do not give you clearance to join in on staff discussions on what to do with a member. If we're being slow on handling your report after a day or so and haven't contacted you, you can ask about the status of the report one time. Please do not continually pester the staff about a single report unless you have additional details you need to give us.
5. Keep things safe for work.
Please keep content safe for viewing in a work environment. If you wouldn't want your parents, boss, or teachers to see it on your screen, then it doesn't belong on PureZC. This includes M rated material, excessive profanity, excessive blood and gore, and overly sexual content. This applies for all areas of the site and forums, especially avatars, signatures, profiles, and posts.
6. Do not post copyrighted material, illegal material, or pornography. *(Major Offense)
Do not post links to copyrighted or illegal material such as music, games, ROMs, etc. Also do not post pornography. Please don't ask where to find any of these things either.
7. Be polite about your signature sizes.
Keep in mind that your signature appears below every single post you make. Given how many signatures are in a typical active topic with the default forum view settings, that's a lot of signatures and images. So here are some things you need to keep in mind with signatures:
- Your signature shouldn't take up more than half a page on a 1024x768 resolution.
- The total file size of all images in a signature should not exceed 200 KB.
- Do not embed Youtube videos in your signature. These will be removed immediately upon being noticed.
There are also some restrictions set automatically via Invision Power Board:
- You may have up to 10 images.
- Images can only be up to 600 pixels wide and 200 pixels tall.
- You can have up to 12 lines.
If the staff finds an issue with your signature, you will be given a 24 hour notice to fix it unless it is a major issue. If you don't fix it, your signature will be deleted with a copy being sent to you by private message (PM).
8. Your posts need to make sense.
If your posts are really hard to read, the staff might ask you to proofread your posts. Excessive amounts of spelling errors, grammatical errors that completely destroy meanings, shorthand, 1337 5p34k (leet speak), obscure abbreviations, or excessive internet memes without context are not acceptable on PureZC.
If English is not your first language, we understand. However, it's rather easy to tell the difference between making an effort to communicate and just being really lazy. If you think it's cool to be lazy with your posts, here is some advice: it's not.
9. Keep things at least vaguely on topic.
If a discussion naturally evolves into a different discussion that has a thread of relation that is traceable, then that is an acceptable topic to discuss as long as you remember what the topic was originally intended for somewhere and the topic creator doesn't object. Yes, this means that people are free to respond to additional topic threads within a topic.
But if you just wildly switch topics to something completely off the wall without a thread of logic to go with it, you will probably be told to get back on topic. If the thread ends up completely shifting focus for a significant amount of time, the staff will probably insist that things get back on topic.
Topic Steering Etiquette
In a departure from previous sets of rules, we're allowing a bit of wiggle room on what was formerly called "rent-a-modding." If you feel something is off in a topic, you are free to bring it up so long as your post follows all of the existing PureZC rules (especially the harassment rule) and you are polite about it.
For example, suppose we have a topic about cheese that has somehow evolved into a heated debate on supermarket safety inspections. If you feel this tangent is detracting from the cheesy goodness of the original topic, you are welcome to redirect the topic's course or ask the descendent safety discussion be moved elsewhere. Something like "Hey. Maybe you all should take that supermarket debate somewhere else so we can get back to talking about cheese?" would do nicely.
This rule change is an ongoing effort to encourage open communication among members. If a member is uncomfortable with something and their concern is phrased more tactfully than "you're stupid; get off my lawn," then they should be allowed to express it. Of course, this isn't an excuse to maliciously pick apart someone's posting behavior just because you personally don't like it. The harassment rule is still in full effect. If the only reason you are barging into a topic is just to ruin someone's day, you should reconsider posting.
10. Do not Evade Bans
When the staff ban a member, they mean it. Because of that, any methods of getting around bans is against the rules. If you are banned and register another account, your ban time will be increased. If you are found to be relaying messages for a member under the knowledge that they are banned, then you may face a ban as well.
11. Do not start or engage in irrelevant religious or political debates.
Any topics that could potentially involve heated discussion back and forth between two or more people of differing opinions (debates) regarding politics (legislation, elections, ideology, people, etc.), religion (or lack there of), or sexual orientation are not allowed due to a history of such topics spiraling out of control. Any signatures, posts or profile content that are intended to or are very likely to get a negative response or start debates from other members regarding these issues are strictly forbidden. Any other debates that may have a high chance of causing heavy conflict or fights may also be closed (temporarily or permanently) by the staff. This is not out of a want to stifle discussion, but rather a desire to minimize conflict and keep PureZC as peaceful as possible.
For example, debating about a video game distribution law would be a relevant and acceptable topic. Debating about same sex marriage (regardless of whether you are for or against it) would be an irrelevant topic and not acceptable. For another example, talking about how <insert religion/political belief here> influenced themes in The Legend of Zelda is relevant and acceptable. Talking about how <insert religion/political belief here> is the dumbest thing in existence is irrelevant and not acceptable.
Simply discussing religion, politics, and sexual orientation is acceptable, but it will be against the rules if it turns into a back-and-forth debate.
PureZC strives to be a peaceful community where people can support each others' ZC projects. While we're not expecting everyone to be buddy buddy, it is contradictory to our goals to support something that creates such a hostile divide between members. That is why this rule exists. There are plenty of places on the internet to debate these topics in-depth.
12. Be considerate with reviews and ratings.
Ratings should reflect your own opinion after trying a database submission for yourself. In the case of quests, it's recommended that you at least play in a few dungeons (depending on the format of the quest), but more complete playthroughs are ideal. Do not rate quests based solely on viewing a Let's Play or on the description, screenshots, or quest project alone. Music submissions need to be listened to. Scripts should be at least tried in an example quest. Tilesets and loose tiles should be tried for yourself, unless a significant portion of the tiles are displayed in the screenshots. Ratings without trying the database item will be removed. Written reviews may be based on watching, however.
Database entries should be rated with your own personal opinion, not to "correct" other peoples' ratings. Do not rate things higher or lower than you normally would with the intent of undermining other members' ratings or adjusting the overall score. Ratings that do this will be removed.
While we don't like policing opinions on things like star ratings, we also expect them to be consistent with community standards. For example, if someone constantly ranks database entries with zero or 1-star ratings, this interferes with the way ratings are intended to work and may need to be addressed. Harsh opinions and those that go against a general consensus are totally fine. It's only if a larger pattern of significant deviance from the community's ratings style emerges that it's considered a problem. Star ratings below 3 are meant to be applied with increasing rarity, and we do not expect the fan games here to be held to professional standards. While enforcement of this rule is very rare, members doing this may be asked to modify their reviews and scores, or be subject to removal of reviews or loss of database privileges. For a more detailed explanation, see the announcement here.
Constructive criticism is of course encouraged in reviews, but please try to be respectful of the person who submitted it. Remember that in the end, we're a community mostly of amateurs doing this for fun. Just like with other areas of the forum, harassment will not be tolerated in the reviews and comments on a submission.
The Elastic Clause
Sometimes, there might be cases where something will disrupt the community, but there won't be a specific rule to reference since it's an unexpected or rare event. That's where this comes in. If we feel that something is disturbing the peace of the community, we may take action on it even if there are no rules covering the specific situation.
The idea here is that we shouldn't be using this very often since our rules cover a wide variety of situations. If the staff does make use of this for a situation, we will be sure to explain why we believe the behavior is not acceptable.
The staff will NOT warn you just for expressing an unpopular opinion or making people angry on accident. That is not the same thing as disturbing the peace of the community.
Usually, you will receive notices to stop doing something within the thread in which you may have done something borderline. This usually happens for minor things and is meant more as a reminder to everyone, not just you.
However, if you are getting a warning point increase, you may end up receiving a PM telling you as much. This will not always be the case (especially with minor warnings that are directly related to posting), so it is important to make sure you have enabled staff warning notifications. Don't worry about missing warnings by accident if you want to continue posting since the system will force you to acknowledge them before you can post again. If you miss the notification, you can view your warnings by going to your profile and clicking on the "X warning points" link under your avatar. It is vital that you be sure to know why you were warned to avoid breaking the rules again.
Warning points expire individually after approximately 60 days (this is run on a scheduled task, so the expiration is not instantaneous once the expiration date is reached). So this means if you have 2 points and a 1 point warning expires, you will go down to 1 point.
If the staff fails to react to a posting offense after 7 days, it is considered off limits for banning or being added as a minor offense to the record (though you might still receive a notice for it so long as it isn't ancient.
Note: Only you and the forum staff can see your warning levels. To view your warning levels and the reasons for them, click your warning level in your profile.
Minor Offenses will get you 1 warning point. While you should heed what a moderator tells you, these are generally really minor things. Keep in mind the points will go away after 60 days, so having one or two of these generally isn't a big deal. You should definitely pay attention to them though since these can stack up if you ignore them.
Major Offenses (harassment and others that are noted as such in the rules) will get you 3 warning points. The majority of the time, getting in trouble for a major offense will also net you an additional punishment thanks to how our punishment system is laid out.
When you enter certain warning point ranges for the first time in a while, you may receive a punishment outside of a verbal warning.
3-5 Points: Cannot make posts for 1 day. Other features are still available. If you cause trouble during this time, it will be upped to a ban lasting for 1 day.
6-8 Points: Cannot make posts for 2 days. Other features are still available. If you cause trouble during this time, it will be upped to a ban lasting 2 days (even if more than a day has already passed).
9+ Points: Receive a ban. Ban lengths vary depending upon the severity of the actions performed to receive the ban and the number of previous bans you have received. Generally the first ban lasts for 1 week, the second ban lasts for a month, and the third ban is indefinite. But we reserve the right to change that in certain circumstances.
After the first ban is over, your warn level will be reduced to 3 points. After the second ban, it will be reduced to 6 points. After the third ban, there probably won't be any additional chances.
The staff also holds the right to ban or warn you at any time if they feel that you consistently cause problems to the PureZC community. But this will be extremely rare since "the staff" means "the staff as a whole" instead of "a handful of people on the staff" since we do not want to abuse that. It also won't be done without provocation. Basically, do not purposely game the system because it's rather flexible if it needs to be.
Reporting Posts and Content
We highly encourage people to report posts, site content, and such that they feel clash with the rules or comfortable environment we are trying to achieve. The staff is not perfect, so we are prone to missing things if they are not brought to our attention.
You can either use the "Report" button that is next to or below a lot of content or post about it in the staff dropbox. We will usually reply to you via PM to confirm that we received the report and have taken it into consideration.
Note about reporting PMs: If you are reporting a private conversation (PM), please keep in mind that you are also sending a conversation invite to the staff. This means that staff members capable of viewing the report (global moderators and above in this case) can enter the conversation if they find it necessary and they will be listed as conversation participants. This is almost the equivalent of going to "Add" under Invite Participants and adding some staff members from there.
While the staff will keep everything in the private conversation confidential, you should still carefully consider whether you want the staff to become involved with an existing private conversation in a staff capacity or not. Once it is reported, almost everything within the private conversation can potentially be subjected to the rules similar to a normal thread. However, don't let this discourage you from reporting things if there is a serious issue you want the staff to help out with.
Thanks for taking the time to read through these rules and remember to enjoy posting.