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Harassment Policy

In Mech Wars, our goal is to build a strong community that offers a comfortable atmosphere for all of our players. This means seeing that players have the ability to combat antisocial behavior.

Some tools created to achieve this purpose include the “Ignore Player” option and the obscenity filter. The “Ignore Player” option permanently blocks all of an offending player's messages, invitations, and so forth.

What is NOT harassment?

First we should point out that anything considered a valid play style in Mech Wars is not considered harassment. In other words, killing a player is not considered harassment. By valid, we mean that there are game mechanics created around these play styles in Mech Wars. Because Mech Wars is a PvP (player vs. player) game, players should seek ways of protecting themselves against certain play styles through game mechanics rather than calling on customer service staff for help in these cases.

What IS considered harassment?

Harassment consists of flagrant misuse and abuse of game mechanics with the intention of distressing and offending other players. So what's a game mechanic? Game mechanics allow players to interact with the world and each other. For example, the ability to attack somebody a game mechanic. The ability to send a lot of messages is a game mechanic. Use of game mechanics like these is by no means considered harassment in and of itself. The key to determining whether the mechanic is being misused or abused is to determine “intent”. What was the person trying to achieve through their actions? Were they purposefully trying to disrupt someone else's game? While an action may cause others distress, it is not considered harassment until it is determined by Mech Wars CS Staff that it was done to intentionally cause distress or to offend other players.

Also considered as harassment is any behavior that is incessant, inescapable, derogatory and directed specifically at you or your group. An important point to note regarding this type of harassment is that a genuine attempt to alleviate the situation must have been made. This could be an attempt to call for help, or simply the act of asking them politely to stop. If a sincere attempt has been made to solve the problem and the offending player persists in the harassing behavior, it can be considered harassment, and should be reported. For more information, see How do I report harassment below.

Behavior that is always considered harassment includes derogatory and/or hateful comments that are sexual, racist, religious, or related to gender or creed. The Mech Wars administration has a zero tolerance policy towards harassment of this kind, as stated in our Terms of Service, and violation of the above can result in immediate and permanent account suspension on the first offense.

So what happens when I report harassment?

  1. When harassment is reported it is immediately escalated to an administrator or higher, and investigated as quickly as possible.

  2. We will observe the reported harassing behavior, and determine whether the harassment report is valid.

  3. You will be informed of the results of the investigation.

  4. If the harassment is valid, we will take appropriate disciplinary action against the policy violator.

  5. Valid harassment issues are always handled at an administrator level or higher.

What are the penalties for harassment?

The Mech Wars administration condemns all forms of harassment in Mech Wars, and this type of disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Harassment is a severe offense in Mech Wars and a clear violation of the Rules of Conduct and Terms of Service.

A judgment of valid harassment can result in penalties placed on the harassing party up to and including immediate account closure, based on the severity of harassment and the player's past account history.

How do I report harassment?

Please report harassment using the petition function.

(Last updated October 25th, 2002.)