Staff Code of Conduct

Updated 2018-10-24

This is the Stratus Network Staff Code of Conduct. The following guidelines apply to all staff members (as listed on https://stratus.network/staff), as well as anyone who works with us in an official capacity.

A. General Conduct

  1. As representatives of the Stratus Network, staff members must be respectful and professional at all times. If they are unsure how to handle a situation, they should discuss it with a senior staff member.
  2. A staff member who is found to have broken the rules of other public servers may be dealt with as if they had done so on the Stratus Network.
  3. Staff should keep up to date with all server information, which includes public announcements and information in private staff channels and forums.
  4. All private information staff members have access to must be kept strictly confidential, even if they cease to be a member of staff.
  5. Staff may be told information about upcoming events and features before the general public. They should assume that all information is private, and always ask permission before sharing it with anyone, including other staff members.
  6. Staff members must not share any private information between internal staff teams (eg. event staff, moderation staff) without prior permission from the relevant senior staff member.
  7. Staff members are considered a role model, and must never break rules or encourage rule-breaking.
  8. Staff members must pay special attention to the security of their accounts. They must never allow any other person to have access to any account which they use for Stratus business. Staff members should use strong passwords and maintain good security practices at all times.
  9. Staff members who expect to be inactive or unavailable for more than a week must post it on the leave of absence thread, or inform a senior staff member. Staff who are unreachable for an extended period of time may be demoted.
  10. The code of conduct applies across the entire network, including on servers where a staff member does not have a rank.
  11. A staff member must not use permissions they have on a private server, such as a map development server, but they do not have on the main network in order to bypass this lack of permissions.

B. Moderation

  1. Moderators must always check a player's infraction history before issuing a punishment.
  2. They may, at their own discretion, issue a less severe punishment, but never a more severe one.
  3. If there is reasonable doubt in regards to hacking, moderators must not punish. Something that can't be easily explained isn't automatically hacking. Moderators are advised to seek the opinions of other moderation staff members if doubts arise.
  4. Punishments for team griefing are subjective. Before punishing for team griefing, moderators should consider whether the player is actually trying to achieve a tactical goal.
  5. Moderators must not punish players based solely on hearsay, reports, anti-cheat messages, death messages or any combination of the above.
  6. The following situations merit a warning for first-time offenders, and a punishment for subsequent instances:
    1. Actions which reflect poor sportsmanship;
    2. Recklessness (e.g. pillaring with TNT or building chaos cannons too near to teammates);
    3. Breaking map-specific rules;
    4. Minor chat-related offenses, such as rudeness, accusing other players of hacking, mild spam, tactical information, etc; but not including severe spam, serious threats or harassment, malicious/explicit links or spam advertising.
  7. The following situations merit an immediate permanent ban:
    1. All forms of hacks or illegal modifications;
    2. Extreme team griefing (e.g. destroying many crucial supplies, many team chests, valuable or tactical team structures, or destroying a large section of the griefer's team's base);
    3. If a player returns within 24 hours after a kick for team griefing and continues to team grief;
    4. Accounts known to be compromised, used for ban evasion or used solely for advertising purposes;
    5. Extremely serious threatening or harassing behavior towards other players;
    6. Any form of extremely malicious behaviour.
  8. For any other rule-breaking, moderators should issue a standard punishment.
  9. An appropriate and descriptive reason should be given for all infractions. Infractions must be written in English but may include a translation.
  10. Moderators must not allow the punishment system to be abused by giving infractions on request or by issuing joke infractions.
  11. Infractions for the following should only be issued with express permission from senior moderation staff. Moderators should ask senior moderation staff directly, or create and escalate a web report. Player-created web reports should be escalated.
    1. Forum rule-breaking;
    2. Ban evasion;
    3. Rule-breaking on private servers, except illegal client modifications;
    4. Serious threats or harassment;
    5. Any other abusive behaviour (e.g. deliberately making false reports, inappropriate conduct in appeals or abusing bugs).
  12. Infractions for rule-breaking on event-related or map development servers should only be issued by the appropriate staff. Moderators should escalate these reports for the relevant senior staff members to handle. Tournament-related infractions should be discussed between senior moderation staff and senior event staff before being issued.
  13. Punishments must not be increased once issued, except where a lower punishment was issued in error (such as typing /p instead of /pb), or where a senior moderation staff member has approved the change.
  14. When issuing infractions based on user-submitted evidence for minor rule-breaking, moderators must ensure that the evidence is no more than a few days old. If in doubt, they should ask a senior moderation staff member to investigate.
  15. User-submitted web reports must be addressed in a timely manner. Where a moderator finds a report that has been left unaddressed and is not sure how best to act, they should escalate the report or alert a senior staff member.

C. Appeals

  1. Staff members must always remain respectful and polite but firm when handling appeals.
  2. Valid infractions must never be appealed, but may be reduced in severity or duration, or expired, at the staff member's discretion.
  3. Staff members must always explain clearly the reason for the infraction in the appeal, so that it can be properly evaluated by a senior staff member if escalated. Where evidence is available, the moderator should include it in the appeal.
  4. If a staff member does not feel confident in handling an appeal, they may to escalate it or consult other moderation staff for guidance.
  5. If a staff member disagrees with another staff member's actions in an appeal, they should bring this to the other moderator's attention privately rather than in the appeal.
  6. Staff members should try to assume that the player is being truthful. If there is reasonable doubt that an infraction is correct, the staff member must err in the appellant's favor. If they need further consultation, they can escalate or ask senior moderation staff.
  7. Staff members must record evidence to support punishments for illegal client modifications, and be able to provide it up to 28 days after the punishment. If the punished player or a senior moderation staff member requests it, the evidence must be posted in the appeal. If, for any reason, evidence cannot be provided, it should be immediately escalated and a senior moderator will decide how to proceed.
  8. Escalated appeals for in-game infractions should only be handled by senior moderation staff, and never by the staff member who issued the infraction. In the case of event-related punishments, escalated appeals should be handled by other senior event staff member. Forum-related appeals may be handled by any senior moderation staff member.
  9. Moderators should try to respond to appeals in a timely manner. If a moderator is unable to respond to an appeal for any reason, they should inform a senior moderation staff member and/or escalate the appeal.

D. Event Staff

  1. Event staff members must follow the directions of senior event staff to the best of their ability.
  2. Referees are expected to follow the rules and expectations set out in the Referee Appendices.
  3. Livestreamers and co-streamers represent the network publicly. They must not be rude, childish, vulgar, sexist, racist, homophobic, intoxicated or otherwise unprofessional during a stream. Livestreamers may be held responsible for their co-streamers' actions.

E. Consequences

  1. Staff members agree to be bound by this Code of Conduct, the server rules and all guidelines relating to their position at all times. If they fail to do so, they may be demoted and/or punished more harshly than a normal player.
  2. If someone ceases to be a staff member, they are still bound by confidentiality; if they release confidential information, their account may be banned or suspended.

If you suspect a staff member is not following the Code of Conduct, is breaking the network rules or is leaking information, contact the relevant senior staff members or an administrator immediately.