Rules of Conduct
TERMS OF SERVICE
This page details the rules under which users may participate
in GemStone IV. The goal of these rules is to provide an enjoyable experience
for the majority of the users. Because GemStone IV is a multiplayer game,
there can sometimes be a conflict between an individual user's idea of entertainment
and that of the majority of the players as a whole. In such situations, the
majority will be given the greatest weight. Please read these policies carefully
so you understand the rules under which you can play GemStone IV and interact
with the other players.
GemStone IV is presented on an AS-IS basis. Usage of the GemStone IV product indicates acceptance of this, and any risk that may imply.
Simutronics is not obligated to credit a user (with experience, in-game money,
inventory, or otherwise), if his/her usage is interrupted by a software failure
or other service interrupt. Simutronics' sole obligation is to make a reasonable
effort to fix a software problem or to return service as quickly as possible
(except in cases where the service interrupt is not related to the GemStone IV product itself).
ABUSIVE AND DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR
GemStone IV is designed for the enjoyment of everyone, and as a general rule,
any behavior which is specifically targeted to lessen that enjoyment for another
player, may be in violation of GemStone IV policy.
This section explains the types of situations which are
considered to be abusive behavior.
GemStone IV is known as a "Roleplaying Game" which means that it
is assumed that the player will present their character in a manner that is
consistent with the game's environment and genre
This type of play is termed
"in character" (IC) and means that the player is acting out the part
in a believable manner. The term "out of character" means that the
player is behaving in a manner which would be inconsistent with his or her character's
situation in the game. For example, if a dwarven warrior, while being attacked
by hordes of orcs, began spouting off about sound card interfaces in his computer,
this would be termed "out of character."
Generally, it is up to the player to decide how much he or she wants to remain
in character while playing GemStone IV. However, there can exist situations where being blatantly out
of character can be considered abusive behavior: for example, an individual
who insists on remaining out-of-character, even when associating with a group
of other players which is trying to remain in-character. When one individual
is reducing the enjoyment of ther players by out-of-character behavior (be it
by speech, actions, messages over a game-wide system, or any other method of
communication within GemStone IV), this may be considered as disruptive behavior. Judgment of what
is and is not disruptive is entirely at the discretion of Simutronics.
It is understood that there are elements of combat in GemStone IV, which will promote a competitive environment. GemStone IV has been designed to promote competition as player vs. creature,
or player vs. puzzle, and not generally player vs. player. Some events may encourage
player vs. player combat in a structured setting. Also, some players will choose
to roleplay a competitive situation between themselves, and will combat each
other. While this is acceptable, it is recommended that players limit PvP conflicts
to the more structured setting. What is not acceptable is to initiate combat
against unsuspecting victims. Anyone exhibiting such behavior, especially one
who chooses to prey upon weaker players for his or her own enjoyment, may be
in violation of GemStone IV policy.
There are many "gray areas" in terms of defining what is acceptable
competition, and what is abusive behavior. In general, Simutronics will not
get involved in any player vs. player conflict which is confined to a small
group of players. However, if such conflict overlaps to other players, or causes
a generally disruptive influence on GemStone IV in general, the participants will be warned. Simutronics reserves
the right to determine which behavior is considered abusive.
Casual discussion is a part of the game. GemStone IV must not be used, however, as a venue for promotion of competing
products or services. Individuals who actively promote other competing products
or services within GemStone IV, may be locked out.
Please remember that GemStone IV is a product designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, and
harsh language is clearly inappropriate. This also applies to the names chosen
for your character. Obscene names will not be tolerated. Please endeavor to
keep names within the genre of GemStone IV (medieval fantasy). Names such as "Chainsaw Laserman"
or "Klingon Fuzzbuster" are inappropriate.
Attempts to gain an unfair advantage which circumnavigates the letter and/or
spirit of the rules presented in the documentation and the version notes, as
judged solely by Simutronics, are a violation of policy. Types of abuse range
from sending special characters or signals to the software to obtain an unusual
result, to using normal game mechanics in ways they are clearly not intended.
Examples of serious bug abuse: Finding a "feedback loop" with spells
or mana points, which allows spells to be cast multiple times with little or
no cost; repeatedly injuring yourself (or another character) in order to generate
experience for a healer-type profession (Empaths, Clerics, Alchemists, and such);
finding a special circumstance in which to use a consumable object whereby its
quantity is not decremented when it is used; abusing game mechanics to cause
duplication of items or in-game money.
Abusing bugs disrupts the balance of GemStone IV and reduces its effectiveness to remain an entertaining product.
Sometimes there will be a great temptation to abuse a bug for personal gain
because the negative effect is not readily apparent. However it should be understood
that the consequences of allowing bugs and loopholes to be exploited is so detrimental
to the product, that Simutronics will exercise no tolerance whatsoever for anyone
participating in this type of activity.
Bugs should always be reported. If you observe someone else abusing a serious
bug, or discussing a plan to abuse one, and fail to report it, you are subject
to the same penalties as they are. Serious bugs should be reported through GemStone IV Feedback.
Rewards obtained from bug abuse may be confiscated, at Simutronics' sole discretion.
Failure to cooperate with Simutronics as to the extent or nature of a bug, or
failure to be honest about the rewards obtained from bug abuse, is grounds for
immediate lock-out from GemStone IV.
Scripting: Long-term scripting to gain skills in GemStone IV is prohibited. Scripting is using any method (such
as a scripting language or "rest mode") to send a series of automated
commands to the game without needing to be at the keyboard. Repetitive actions
are often placed into macros or short scripts to make these actions easier on
the typing fingers or simply easier to do. However, experience and player reaction
has shown that long term scripting to gain skills is disruptive to game play,
helping to destroy the atmosphere that has been carefully nurtured in GemStone IV.
In addition, it puts undue stress upon system resources which makes it harder
to keep the game scaled to the needs of its players. Players who spend hours
scripting skills, especially while AFK (Away from the Keyboard or letting their
computer script run their character while they sleep or work), don't just miss
out on gaming opportunites (such as roleplaying, merchants, invasions, etc.),
they skip ahead at rates which the GMs can't support and wind up at the edge
of what the game provides quicker than was intended in the design. Long term
scripting also tends to keep resources away from other players by keeping rooms
and creatures to themselves for days on end.
What constitutes long-term scripting? The following is a general guide to help
you avoid being warned by a GM for long term scripting. It's not an absolute
and the GM's judgment will vary from instance to instance. Each instance of
long term scripting will be judged independently. However, any scripting activity
that lasts over 10 minutes will be considered long-term scripting. Also, spending
25% or more of your time online scripting will be considered excessive. In any
case, AFK scripting is entirely against GemStone IV policy and is immediately a warnable offense (If you need to go
grab a sandwich or leave your keyboard, you should stop any experience scripting
to avoid being warned. The excuse that you left your keyboard only for a few
minutes will not prevent you from gaining a warning since the GM will have no
way of verifying that fact).
Exception: In general, if you are running a script that does not gain you experience,
it does not fall under this policy. However, any script that's deemed by a GM
to be disruptive or not in the best interest of GemStone IV or its players will be warned when discovered. IE, if you script
moving in and out of a room, it may garner a warning because it causes undue
DELAYS AND SLOWDOWNS
Some delay between commands is a normal consequence of playing a game on a network.
Delays are typically only a few seconds, but may occasionally be longer. Additionally,
some delays may affect only one player, because he or she is having problems
with a local network node. If, however, a character is harmed because of a delay
(or "slowdown") which was caused by a system-wide delay which affected
all users, repair or replacement of the damage may be authorized if (1) the
damage was related directly to the slowdown; (2) the slowdown was at least 10
seconds in duration; and (3) the slowdown is verifiable. See the section on
repair/replacement for more information. Simutronics reserves the right of final
judgment as to the verification of any slowdown-related claims.
For information on transferring characters between accounts, see our Character
Certain characters which have been inactive are in danger of being purged from
the database, to make room for active characters. The rules are as follows:
- If someone just logs into the game once or twice for a few minutes, and
then never returns, their character will probably be purged from the database
within a couple weeks. The criteria are as follows:
- If a character's TOTAL playing time in the game is under an hour AND
- They have not visited the game for at least 15 days,
they will be purged.
Also, ANY character, even a high-level one, that has not visited the game for
90 days or more will be purged from the database.
If this happens, your only option is to start a new character, as nothing
from the old one (stats, money, fame, inventory, etc.) will be replaced or re-created.
Simutronics is the sole judge of the accuracy of any high score lists and other
event score listings. An announcement by Simutronics as to the winners of an
event, is final.
GameMasters are frequently on-duty to answer any calls for assistance which
may arise. All players are encouraged to type ASSIST (or click on the "Assistance"
button) if they are having a problem with game mechanics, which will notify
any on-duty GameMasters that you have a question. GameMasters are not permitted,
however, to give solutions to puzzles, supply inventory to the player, or divulge
certain details which the player is supposed to discover for himself or herself.
For example, a GameMaster could examine a locked chest to see if it was constructed
properly, but would not typically be allowed to tell you its exact difficulty
level, or what number you would have to roll in order to be able to open it.
GameMasters are not permitted to make personalized items for players, unless
a special merchant event is in progress. GameMasters are forbidden to show any
type of favoritism towards one player or another.
VERY IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that although GameMasters serve as Customer
Service representatives, their main responsibility is to preserve the integrity
of the game's rules and balance, and in situations where customer service may
conflict with preserving the integrity of the game, the GameMaster is required
to put the rules first.
REPAIRS AND REPLACEMENTS
Should it appear that your character is missing some points or that something
about your character or its inventory has changed unexpectedly, you may
inform us by typing ASSIST and speaking to a GameMaster directly,
or by leaving GemStone IV Feedback and giving an explanation of the situation.
Simutronics will attempt to investigate the problem, and may, at its sole discretion,
authorize adjustments to your score or inventory. GameMasters are empowered
to make many on-the-spot decisions about replacement, but some situations will
require approval from Simutronics management.
Some missing items are caused by normal means, such as a weapon which is broken
in combat, in-game money lost to a pickpocket, or a mis-typed line to a parser.
For example, if you were to type PUT SWORD IN SACK, this would
normally put the sword into your own sack, but if there were to be a sack on
the ground (perhaps left there by another player), your sword would instead
go into that sack, and when you reached for it later, you might think it had
just "disappeared." In any case where an item is lost or damaged through
this type of normal game mechanics, repair or replacement cannot be authorized.
In many instances, Simutronics' only recourse in determining the cause of a
problem a user may experience, is to verify that the programming involved is
reliable. If specific game mechanics function correctly, and repeated tests
under similar circumstances as the reported problem yield correct results, then
we must rule that what the user saw is attributed to some type of communication
problem or a misunderstanding of the output. For example, if your sword breaks
in combat, and the die roll does not match the expected result, then Simutronics
will check the programming involved carefully, and attempt to reproduce the
error. In this case, if the breakage system operates correctly thousands of
times a day, and attempts to re-create the identical error fail, then the conclusion
Simutronics must draw is that the mistake was caused by human error or a communication
problem such as line noise, which mangled the output.
There are various methods which the GameMasters use, to introduce unique items
into GemStone IV. Some of these are planned well in advance, such as auctions, or
quest treasure, or have immediate GameMaster involvement, such as during merchant
events. Other methods, however, such as the treasure queue or "feeder"
system, are done on a daily basis with only limited checking. The queue system
is a powerful method to get large numbers of unique items into the hands of
GemStone IV' players, but because of the volume, Simutronics cannot, and does
not, maintain detailed records of the types of items, and who claims them. Because
of this, requests for replacement of unique items lost due to system problems
cannot always be honored.
In cases where Simutronics has a record of the item and its owner, replacement
in the case of a loss (such as from a software crash) is usually authorized.
In un-documented cases, however, Simutronics accepts no responsibility to replace
the item. This policy allows GameMasters to create a large number of unique
items, without requiring the detailed documentation and tracking which can stifle
A few problems, however, emerge from this exciting method of treasure distribution:
- Because of the large number of such items, replacement in the case of loss
may not be possible, because there will be no records of the item's exact
structure or status.
- It is possible that there will be mistakes in item creation from time to
time. These mistakes may be technical, invalid or unreasonable parameters,
or elements which are outside the guidelines and mythos of the game environment.
- Items will vary widely in their scope, concept, and usefulness. Some items
of similar or exact appearance may have different powers.
Therefore, the following policy is imposed on these items:
Simutronics will not replace or repair unique items under any circumstances
other than bug fixes we initiate at our sole discretion. Therefore, if you lose
one of these items in a crash, we may not be able to replace it because we will
not have any documentation on what it was, or how it really worked.
Simutronics can and will, at its sole discretion, make adjustments or repairs
to these items as needed. In most cases, if an error represents a clear imbalance,
you will not lose the benefits you acquired while the item was working the way
it was. The exception to this is if it was a gross mistake that has serious
ramifications for the world balance.
Simutronics is not required to make any notification that a change has occurred.
If you see that an item suddenly shifts its operation, then the reason is either
due to a repair, or that the item was programmed to do what it does for some
reason. Items should never be trusted to ALWAYS behave in a perfectly predictable
In very rare instances, an item may have to be confiscated if it is seriously
in error. GameMasters are authorized to replace it with the next item in the
unique item queue (though this will probably not have any relationship to the
benefits/powers of the one removed). Again, this can take place at Simutronics'
Simutronics reserves the right to make modifications to any and all game mechanics
and rules at any time, without notice. Players should be mindful of the fact
that Simutronics has a responsibility to preserve the balance of the game for
the majority of the players, and furthermore, to maintain a level of challenge
that is adequate for this type of product. Therefore, Simutronics will routinely
add new rules, modify existing rules, and even go back and change new additions
which did not function as expected. These changes can impact your character
in a variety of ways. If you feel that the change unfairly penalizes your character,
or your character type, given the requirements of balance, challenge, and the
general good of the game, then you may make your views known to Simutronics
via GemStone IV Feedback. It should be understood, however, that Simutronics maintains
a longer range view which may be in conflict with short-term and character-specific
interests, but Simutronics will always attempt to make the best decision for
the overall good of the game.
QUESTS AND SPECIAL EVENTS
The running of events and quests takes an enormous amount of effort for setup
and execution, but can sometimes accommodate only a few players at a time. Simutronics
may run the same quest more than once, to allow as many players as possible
to enjoy it. Because of this, if you participate in a quest, please do not discuss
the details of the puzzles with other players, because this can decrease their
own enjoyment of it when their turn comes around. Also, please do not broadcast
puzzle solutions or other spoilers over general means of communication, such
as the mass communications networks available in-game (ESP, gweth-net, PBR communicators,
etc.), or the public Message Board topics.
Quest participants who are being disruptive, may be removed from the quest.
Examples of disruptive behavior are:
Being extremely out-of-character; making disparaging comments about the quest
or the people involved; or actively thwarting the progress of other participants.
Disruptive behavior can also be caused by players who have participated in a
quest before, and therefore already know the puzzle solutions, or by players
who have received the solutions from other participants, and thereby lessen
the enjoyment of other players who wish to discover the solutions for themselves.
Determination of what is and is not disruptive behavior, and/or removal of a
quest participant, is entirely at the discretion of the GameMaster running the
Some quests have a limited capacity. Simutronics makes no guarantee that everyone
who shows up for a quest will be able to participate. Most quests will be run
again at a later date, but Simutronics makes no guarantee of the frequency of
these quests, or that any particular player will be guaranteed the right to
participate in any of them.
Simutronics is not required to give warning that a quest will be run. Some
quests are announced ahead of time, while others are run spontaneously.
Quests have inherent dangers in them, over and above the normal dangers to
your character while playing GemStone IV. This could mean the death of your character, the loss of inventory,
the threat of kidnapping or capture, and many other possibilities. You do have
the option of choosing not to participate in an ongoing quest, by typing ASSIST
and requesting that you be removed from the quest. This must be done as soon
as you are aware that there is a quest in progress. Once you have become involved,
however, it is up to the GameMaster running the quest as to whether your request
to be removed should be honored.
Awards are frequently given out at the end of quests and other events. There
is no guarantee, however, that a player's participation in an event will guarantee
an award. Even though a player may have contributed to the solution of a puzzle,
or roleplayed well, his or her actions at those times may not be monitored.
Simutronics is not required to monitor the behavior of all quest participants.
We consider our
in GemStone IV to be equivalent to a GM in
a tabletop game, which means that they
have the authority to monitor everything that goes on in the world, and to add
and modify with the intention of keeping interest high and promoting the overall
enjoyment of the product. It is not Simutronics policy, however, to eavesdrop
on private conversations unless there is a reasonable concern that such conversations
relate to bug abuse, disruptive behavior, or ongoing events. In general, our
policy is to respect player privacy as much as possible, however it must be
made clear that all actions and conversations within GemStone IV are subject to monitoring.
VIOLATIONS OF POLICY
Anyone found to be in violation of the policies described in this document,
at the sole discretion of Simutronics, will be subject to the following:
- First violation: The user will receive a warning describing the breach of
policy Simutronics believes they have committed, either onscreen or via Email.
- Second violation: The user will be locked out of GemStone IV for a period of up to one month, and will be notified via Email.
- Third violation: The user will be locked out of GemStone IV permanently.
In certain circumstances, such as extremely abusive behavior, a user may be
locked out without warning or notice of any kind. However, Simutronics will
follow up with an Email explaining why this step was taken.
Additional policies from time to time may become necessary, such as unique policies
for a quest.
It is also Simutronics policy that if anyone is locked out of one Simutronics
product, for any reason, Simutronics may choose to lock that user's accounts
out of ALL Simutronics products, on all services. This includes current and
future Simutronics products. If a user is discovered to be playing on an account
which is registered to a fraudulent or incorrect name, address, or billing method,
that may also be grounds for immediate lockout.
Simutronics reserves the right to make special-case adjustments to its policies
and the steps it takes concerning violation of these policies.