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Rules of Conduct


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).

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 (medieval fantasy). 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 screen scroll.

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 Transfer form.

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.

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 creativity.

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 manner.

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' sole discretion.

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.

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 event.

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 GameMasters 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.

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:

  1. First violation: The user will receive a warning describing the breach of policy Simutronics believes they have committed, either onscreen or via Email.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Simutronics Corporation

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