CheatingCheating is a deliberate action taken to gain an unfair advantage in the game. This could be by abusing a bug, exploiting a loophole, creating scripts that automate gameplay, or even contacting a friend for help outside the game.
What is a bug?
A bug is an error in the code of the game. These errors may result in your ability to perform actions that you ordinarily would not be able to. The most obvious sign of an error is called a traceback. That means that the code has given up and can take no further action to continue executing. When you encounter a traceback, you'll receive a message indicating that you've stumbled upon an error. If this happens and you're able to gain an advantage (point, credits, teleportation, hearing things you shouldn't, communicating with people you shouldn't, etc), you should ASSIST and/or REPORT what is happening and not take advantage of the situation. Communicating on the official out of character channel should not be used as a vector for reporting bugs.
Not all bugs manifest as tracebacks, though. Often times bugs will appear in the form of logic errors. These types of errors mean that the code continues to run but it's fundamentally flawed in its design. Logic errors can often result in you gaining advantages that you normally would not be able to. The best way to spot a logic error is to ask yourself: Is this too good to be true? For example, if you're receiving hourly payments of 500 million credits without doing anything, that would be too good to be true. If you're out of communications range but you're still able to communicate with people, that's too good to be true.
What is a loophole?
A loophole is similar to a logic error. It's an action that you can take that is a deliberate workaround to a check or balance placed into the game. One of the more obvious loopholes regards the system's requirement for points, combat points, and credits. A quick example: You have 50 points and a wobbledamper stabilizing gyro requires 500 points. You try to buy it anyway and, to your astonishment, it works! This is a loophole because you didn't meet the requirements yet were able to continue anyway. The examples section of this policy lists several most important examples and we highly encourage you to read through them.
Another form of a loophole is an oversight. Oversights occur when a programmer fails to anticipate a situation that would result in excess gain or privileges for a player. Oversights can be tricky to diagnose. Creative solutions to problems often bring oversights to light. We rarely punish people for taking advantage of an oversight, as it's obviously not a bug or a standard loophole. However, we will often correct the oversight and we may take away any advantages you may have garnered from it. We ask that you be understanding of this and not take it personally.
Scripts, Macros, Aliases, Triggers, and Command Stacking
Scripts, macros, aliases, and triggers are code local to a player's client that allows them to automate portions of the game. In order to keep the game fair for all involved, we consider all client-side scripting to be illegal if it results in your client playing the game for you. Players should play by hand and only use client scripts to enhance gameplay for the purposes of accessibility or roleplay convenience. A script, macro, trigger, alias, or whatever your client may call it should not be used to gain points, credits, or an advantage over another player in a combat situation.
Command stacking, or command recall, is an ability of nearly every client that allows you to repeat commands by arrowing up or to execute multiple commands at once by separating them and sending them all at once. The game has measures to prevent command stacking, but command recall should be treated as a script. If it gives you an advantage in the game, you should be typing it by hand and not recalling it. Recall is fine, however, if you're using it for roleplay purposes or logistical operations like setting options or posting on a message board.
What is metagaming?
Metagaming, for our purposes, is communicating in-character information to another player outside of the game when you couldn't have done so in the game. This can sound confusing, but it's quite simple: Can you communicate what you want to the player inside Miriani at that moment? If so, it's okay to communicate it either inside the game or outside. If not, such as when you're stunned, disconnected, or idle, then that information should not be communicated outside the game. It's very important for the stability of the roleplay environment that limitations be respected. Being stunned means that your character would have no way to get word to anybody else. It gives you an unfair advantage to communicate information outside the game that you would not normally be able to communicate. Similarly, characters that are not connected to the game or are otherwise idle should be treated with the same considerations. Even if you roleplay your character "waking up" another person, this is still considered metagaming because the player wouldn't have known to become active without being told outside the game.
Multiple Accounts and Characters
You're allowed to create only one account and only one character at a time. If you'd like to play a different character, you can delete your current character from the login screen and create a new one. There is never any need to create a new account. If you forget your username or password, you can use the lost password form on the website to get a new password and be informed of your username.
You're obligated to report bugs, loopholes, logic errors, or cases where you suspect somebody is scripting. Please do not worry yourself with how many reports we've received about any given issue or whether or not it even is an issue. We would rather have you report anything you think is off than to have it go unreported and actually be an issue.
Keep in mind that you should not baselessly accuse another player or host of cheating. You should always have some evidence to go on. You should also not take your accusations to a public forum, such as the OOC channel or message boards, as this does nothing more than contribute to a toxic atmosphere. It's best to contact the hosts directly (either by ASSIST, REPORT, or e-mail).
EnforcementAll cases of cheating, loophole abuse, bug abuse, and scripting will carry the following penalties:
- Any advantages you gained by cheating will be reversed, including advantages that you transferred to other players.
- If an exact number or enumeration of items cannot be determined, an appropriate amount of credits and/or points to remove is at the discretion of the hosts dealing with the situation. An amount will be decided upon based on the severity of the violation and the frequency of abuse (if applicable).
- Removal of 10% of your total license points (and, if applicable, combat points) and 5% of your total credits, including fund center funds.
- Removal of 30% of your total license points (and, if applicable, combat points) and 15% of your total credits, including fund center funds.
- The same as number 2 with the addition of a one month lockout from the game.
- You will be forced to reroll and lose all of your assets.
- Permanent banning.
- Any secondary accounts or characters you create will be deleted. In addition, the character on your primary account will also be deleted and you will have to start over.
- If you use out of character methods to gain an advantage in automated starship tests, whether it be via remote access, direct manipulation of your game character from another person, or other vectors, you will lose the ability to ever apply for that ship on your current character again. You will also not be able to apply for that ship for the following year, regardless of rerolls.
- Transferring a starship to another player only to have them upgrade it with upgrades you would normally not be able to obtain and transfer it back.
- Having someone hold items or "conveniently" dropping them for you to "discover" after you reroll.
- Creating a second account via proxy to multiplay or give your primary character benefits.
- Telling someone you are stunned via Skype or other instant messenger programs.
- Utilizing client scripts that allow you to automate activities, such as archaeology or atmospheric salvaging.
- As you're salvaging, you notice that if you type "5" immediately after typing salvage, and then type salvage twice more, your ship will be carrying the debris but it won't count in the total cargo. You continue to do this until your ship is carrying eighteen times what it would normally carry. Rather than REPORT this, you continue using it to your advantage by salvaging without break. This is an example of loophole abuse.
- You're in a store, ready to buy your new 10 billion credit anomaly scanner. When you type BUY 1, however, you get the notice that an error has occurred. You check your credits and they all seem to be there. When you reach your ship, you notice that it did install the anomaly scanner! In your excitement, you rush out to put anomaly scanners on all of your ships and tell your friends to do the same. This is an example of bug abuse.
- Selling or purchasing artifacts obtained out of comms to help a friend or acquaintence get license points with minimal effort on their behalf.
- You notice that typing 'BLOOP [person]' gives them a yes or no prompt. You and a friend decide that you won't be able to stun [person] conventionally, so instead you decide that one friend will spam the BLOOP command while the other friend grabs the person. This effectively disables [person] by exploiting out of game nuances.
- Using command recall (up arrow+enter) to repeat a task that harvests points or credits, such as using a digging tool in archaeology. This is only acceptable if the commands involved do not give you an advantage in the game versus people who are actually typing out the commands.
- Having another player complete an automated starship exam for you, such as the battlecruiser combat assessment. Doing such not only invalidates the skill requirements for operating such technology in character, but gives you an advantage over other players who cannot complete the test while relying on their own skills.
- John adds a series of keystrokes to his client that gives him the ability to press ctrl followed by a corresponding letter to complete certain actions in the game, such as sending walking directions, manual pilot numbers or viewing the starmap without having to hit enter. This is considered a macro.
- A friend gives you a key to a ship you don't have the points for and allows you to fly it around as if it was your own. This circumvents the points system and is considered cheating.