I wish I could tell you guys this blog holds good news, but unfortunately, it doesn't.
This blog is not singling anyone out, so please refrain yourselves from believing as much. I'm about to lay things as they are, and begin the enforce the policies that are currently in place. This should have been done a long time ago, but unfortunately, it hasn't. Given I've been recently re-appointed the Head of Sorting & Stores, I officially make up 1/3 of the bureaucrats and thus will be making the decisions necessary to restore DARP's age of prosperity. I am not the new dictator, let me reassure you. However, given I'm currently the only Bureaucrat that is following every single activity policy, it's only fair I begin to make the decisions I have to make.
It's not just the inactivity policy that's causing headaches - it's more than that. The roleplay policy, the chat policy, the character policy, the meeting policy and the rating policy are also causing headaches, one way or another. Given the fact that a lot of the policies are being either forgotten or ignored, this blog is also aimed to remind everyone that they exist and that they're in place for a reason. Failing to not follow the policy will have its own consequences, depending on the severity of the transgression.
Chat is a crucial aspect of our community here on DARP and is one of the main forms of communication between users when it comes to asking for roleplays, crafting up character plots and ideas as well as regular conversations and everyday chit-chat. It is meant to be a place for everyone to coexist peacefully and to ensure that users feel safe, comfortable and happy, we are required as staff to ensure the many important policies.
The offensive actions include the use of inappropriate language, sexual discussions, threats, insults, consistently using all caps (considered both spam and yelling for some people), as well as giving out personal information. We also require that users do not refuse a private message from any members of staff or moderator that is trying to do their job. Users are not allowed to flood chat with spam messages (examples: individually spelling out words, posting nonsensical words, excessive ads and links, as well as consistent emotes).
Some topics (Religion, Politics, Sexuality, Gender, Skin Color, etc) can easily deteriorate into a pointless discussion or even offend and hurt some other users. A member of staff is required to enforce this rule and tell users who want to have such discussions to otherwise talk it to personal message or drop the topic completely. While on the topic of personal messaging through chat, remember that cyberstalking, harassment, cybersex, cyberbullying, and threats are strictly prohibited. If a user is breaking this policy, please tell a member of staff immediately and provide either a screenshot or chat log.
This policy isn't a total issue. The problem is the continuous, nonstop swearing that goes on in chat, sometimes uncensored. It's been more than a couple times where a user has felt uncomfortable with the profanity said in chat. Given its become a bit of an issue at times, we're going to become stricter with this policy. The occasional slip-up is quite alright, but continuous infractions will result in being kicked and/or banned from chat.
This one has one specific thing pertaining to it that causes a lot of headaches, especially to the Sorting team. Users who have been active on this wiki for less than one month are limited to 2 characters. After one month, there is no limit to the amount of characters a user can have, though do not allow yourself more than you can handle. An ideal maximum is 10 characters per user, however if you can control and roleplay more than that, you are allowed. If you have an excess amount of characters that aren’t being roleplayed, you will be asked by the administration to delete some, and given a warning not to create so many again.
People like having a lot of characters, and thus make more than they can handle. I, for one, have gone through this before, tho it's an issue I'm currently working hard on to fix. This can't be allowed to stand anymore. A sudden influx of characters from one user will result in an immediate ban from creating characters for that specific user. Only the S&S team has permission to ban users from rapid character making, and with the S&S Head's authorization. The same stands for the amount of characters already made. If S&S - or anyone else on the Administration team, for that matter - notices you have more characters than you can handle, then the team reserves the right to have you delete an amount found appropriate, depending the circumstances.
This policy has not changed. However, the lines seem to have blurred together. May I remind you all that no regular users are permitted to attend these meetings unless explicitly mentioned, or the user is the directly involved with the topic presented. Similarly, at least one bureaucrat must be present in each meeting, unless it involves another bureaucrat’s department or the demotion of another bureaucrat, among other exceptions. In every meeting, there must be an outline of the topics that will be discussed.
It’s become increasingly hard for people to know who can call an administrative meeting and who cannot. Anyone in the team can call one if it’s an emergency. However, only a Bureaucrat (or an admin stepping in for a crat) can call one on a regular basis. By that, I mean only a Bureaucrat can call a meeting for anything not emergent. What falls under the emergency category are issues that must be resolved within a limited timeframe and has big chances of affecting the entire user base.
DARP is a community rated PG-13, and that will not change in the foreseeable future, even as its main user base grows older and older. This is a policy I often see be broken, as cursing in chat is an issue that arises very often. I myself am someone who curses a lot. Moreover, policies stand for a reason and until they are modified, everyone will have to follow it, myself included. Things such as swearing in chat exceedingly, graphic violence (especially in roleplays), taboo character relationships (student/professor, slave/master, etc.), and roleplayed intimate relationships are strictly prohibited.
Things such as cursing sparingly (aka in slip-ups) and cursing in RPs (sparingly and only the words that are condoned, or with the use of “*”/”-”) are fine, but constantly breaking this policy will result in consequences appropriate for the situation. It could be as minor as being kicked out of chat, or as big as being banned from it, for as long as the administration team believes fit. The administration team will be keeping a close eye on infractions. No leniency is allowed, and that is final.
This one I've seen a lot of issues with. This policy is very important, and there will be no exceptions. Nobody is allowed to godmod. You can only RP attempts, and that’s it. You cannot RP what happens to a character that’s not your own. Similarly, you are not allowed to metagame, let alone bunny. Your character cannot know something that was not told to them. A small infraction might be overlooked, but constant infractions - and big ones, too - cannot and will not be overlooked.
Remember, we are a wikia based off realism. You cannot and will not be allowed to forego what we know to be a cold, hard fact for the sake of a cool storyline. Admittedly, magic isn’t real to begin with, but there’s a line between following book canon (and subsequently breaking realism) and breaking canon plus realism for the sake of being cool. To this end, please try to role-play characters in a realistic fashion. Some examples are that the majority of people have feelings, get happy, sad etc. Also, in the real world, when we meet people, we say hi, ask them their name etc. When meeting someone important, we make an appointment, knock on their door, treat them kindly etc. All of these sort of things should be considered when role-playing.
Any character over the age of 17 can get married, even if the character is a student. However, public displays of affection must be kept to a minimum, and please be careful to keep your roleplays PG-13 or lower. However, please keep the PG-13 RP limit in mind. This means that adult characters should not be dating student characters unless they're a year or less apart. And this upcoming one is a topic I see a lot in chat, which is something I’m not too keen about. Drug use. Drug use of any illegal substance (from weed to dragon dung) is considered illegal by the Ministry of Magic, and a character can be arrested for using these materials. Use or sale of these materials at Hogwarts is grounds for expulsion or jail time. Keep that in mind when you think about having a character become a drug dealer.
To break this policy will have consequences OOC and IC, and they will not be light ones.
This blog is really just a reminder of the policies that already exist, and to let you all know that starting today, there is no more leeway. The time of messing around and breaking every rule you could possibly think of is up, because quite frankly, we need to worry about whether or not DARP is gonna push past this year. It’s been rough, and I know that, and technically we were just on a holiday and are all still feeling the rush of it, but the events leading up to this blog predate Thanksgiving 2017. I genuinely hope none of you take this to heart and see where I’m coming from.