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  • TF2 Rules RSS Feed

    by Published on February 28th, 2011, February 28th, 2011 09:02 AM

    Team Basics

    Team Name: Team Interrobang
    Team Tag: [!?]
    Team Website:

    Statement of Principles

    Team Goal

    Provide an enjoyable gaming experience to the gaming public through community engagement.
    The team members are members of the gaming public and member preferences and interests are not to be ignored. Team Interrobang members have participated in a value exchange of receiving broad server powers and guaranteed access in exchange for actively improving the quality of the play experience and community.

    Team Values

    "Fun" is implicit in all team activities and noting such would be redundant. The team operates game servers on which games are played and to ignore the irreducible goal of pursuing enjoyment would be to operate a team for the sake of operating a team, wasting everyone's time. A more detailed explanation of Team Interrobang's version of "fun" is enumerated by the team values outlined below.
    Fairness - Players who show no prior malice are entitled to a quality game experience on our servers and our extra abilities should be used to enforce a consistent high quality of gaming. Responses to infractions should be consistent and reasonable. Preferential access to team resources must be based on merit and ability.

    Empowerment - The influence of team members should be both high and diffuse. Where possible, the abilities and responsibilities of members should be expanded as well as the membership who has access to non-public information and game options. Members should have avenues to express grievances and air ideas and these avenues must be easy to access. In no case should a player be expected to show deference due to age, experience, skill, team standing or some other attribute.

    Community - While the game itself is fun, exceptional value is derived from connecting with other people. The team provides non-game avenues for people to connect and allow the free discussion of appropriate topics. The game is not an end until itself and the people involved should be of primary concern.
    Funmanship - Ideas provide the energy that keep gaming exciting and novel gameplay is a key way to engage membership and maintain the technical competence of the team. Innovating competitions remove the traditional emphasis on serious action and focus activities on the community rather than the game.

    Server Infractions

    The intent of the infraction penalties are to achieve our Team Goal while preserving our Team Values.

    An action is broadly considered an infraction if it interferes with delivering an enjoyable game experience in accordance with our team's values. Should an action not undermine fun or our values, and inflict no harms, the status of that action as a rules violation should be reconsidered.

    Determining Standards for Appropriateness and Spamming:

    Team Interrobang has no categorical standard for appropriateness; it's determined by participants in the server. If someone is genuinely offended or annoyed by another player's speech it is that player's responsibility to air this feeling and it is the responsibility of present admins to ask the player to stop the speech if found to be offensive. This floating standard may not be used to try to simply reduce the conversation on the server as this would interfere with both community and fairness. Server participants who repeatedly attempt to stifle obviously appropriate speech or attempt to use this standard to cause server discord are considered griefing.

    Broadcast Abuse (Spamming/Inappropriate Speech)

    Definition: Text, sound, or image broadcasts that unintentionally interfere with gameplay or the social environment of a server.

    Philosophy: Pursuing community is impossible in an environment that players consider hostile or where players are barred from meaningful participation. These conditions make enjoyment of the server difficult, violating both community and funmanship.

    Examples: A player plays a sound clip ever time he or she dominates a player. A player enters a long text string after each kill. A player repeatedly tells graphic jokes or uses of-color language with no obvious intention to harm ("that's gay").

    Exceptions: Topical conversation among players that is polite and appropriate is not abusive. Socially accepted terms for groups or attributes (the network TV standard) in and of themselves are not offensive content.

    Escalation: Warning - Temporary Mute/Gag - Session Mute/Gag - ** Long-term Mute/Gag . A player with a history of chronic and obvious infringing speech may receive further consequences as per discussion by the Team Full and Senior Admins after a team discussion.

    * - If a player is broadcasting such that the player can't be asked via voice to stop, the player may mute the player, issue the warning, then unmute the player. ** - An appropriately warned player who regularly fails to meet the acceptable standard for server broadcasts may be barred from broadcasting across sessions.


    Definition: Activities intended to harm the intended server experience or a repeated failure to meaningfully participate in the server.

    Philosophy: Players who act with the intent of impairing their team violate fairness. Griefing produces a hostile server environment that is not easily avoidable, which violates funmanship. Repeated exposure to griefers will make players skeptical of server play, violating the value of community.

    Example: In a server with alltalk off, a player communicates strategy to the opposing team or talks loudly when another player talks. A player builds up an ubercharge, activates it on another player and ends the uber once the ubered player engages the opponent. A player misleads his team members about novel functionality of a custom map. An engineer builds a teleporter specifically to aid enemy spies. A player actively interrupts other players' attempts to talk. A player enters several text strings quickly to bury new chat comments. A player responds to a request to tone down broadcast abuse by broadcasting more.

    Exceptions: Bad play is not griefing nor is ignorance of game functionality. Some element of mischief or ignoring requests to meaningfully participate must be identified for an incident to be considered griefing. One could claim that being killed harms one's server experience but this type of engagement is intended by the game.

    Escalation: Warning - Kick - 1+ Day Ban - 7+ Day Ban


    Definition: Actions that attempt to personally degrade, attack or harm a person or group of people.

    Philosophy: Video games serve as a place of separate identity for those who wish to maintain one. Harmful violations of this veil threaten the value of community. Discussions of personal details or personal attacks create a hostile server environment violating the value of funmanship.

    Example: A player repeatedly brings up embarrassing personal details about another players after being requested to not do so. A player commits hatespeech. A player singles out another player for excessive harsh criticism for in-game actions.

    Exceptions: A player claiming another player is hacking is not harassment if issued in good faith or when presented with evidence. While this is a poor way of airing the grievance, repeated claims without substantiation would be considered harassment.

    Escalation: Warning* - 1+ Day Ban - 7+ Day Ban. *- Some egregious actions like coordinated personal attacks across media or circulating compromising or highly embarrassing information may be escalated after consultation with the Admin Corps.

    Spawn Killing

    Definition: Repeatedly killing players as they exit either the doored portion of the respawn area or another exit with limited visibility. The two criteria are repetition and lack of options after exiting the respawn for the person killed. If a player puts stickies in front of the respawn as you run by with the intel that's fine as it's not repeated. Standing there and repeatedly dropping stickies as your friend runs up the spiral is spawn killing. Any doored exit must be clear as must any area to where a respawn-exiting player may make a choice of how to go forward.

    Philosophy: Spawn killing regularly creates game scenarios that players find extremely frustrating. Spawn killing negates the enjoyment intrinsic to respawning and rejoining active play.

    Example: On ctf_2fort, the area in front of the main respawn (the respawn with a single exit) must be clear but the spiral/grate, battlement exit, or courtyard may be camped as by that point the respawn-exiting player had three movement options. The battlement-area of the secondary respawn (respawn with two exits) must be clear to the point where the respawn-exiting player could continue straight across the battlement or exit to the ground. The secondary respawn exit that opens to the ground floor must be open and free of repeat fire but either exit may be camped.

    Spawn killing on payload maps or other maps with open respawns: It is not considered spawn killing to kill players emerging from an area your team does not have access to if there are at least one other exit that player may have taken from the barred area.

    Example: On Gravelpit, red may kill blue team members as they emerge from either the Point A or Point B exit as there is another exit option.

    Exceptions: Some maps change respawns based on team progress. A change of respawns for a team does not require the other team to move, destroy, or abandon their existing encampment. If the encampment is destroyed, rebuilding it would be considered spawn killing. On maps where an objective occurs immediately outside a respawn area, engagement at the respawn area is allowed. Spawn killing is defined by successfully killing players. Someone lurking in front of a spawn trying to punch people isn't killing until the player repeatedly kills other people.

    Escalation: Warning - Kick - 1+ Day Ban - 7+ Day Ban

    Exploit - Major

    Definition: Actions outside intended player ability which disrupt the stability of the server, circumventing server restrictions or prevent the participants in the server from completing the map's objectives.

    Philosophy: Players receive no positive experience from a non-functioning server and repeated server outages make players hesitant to play on team servers harming community. Asymmetric disruptions to the game violate the value of fairness.

    Example: A player executes a console command which causes the game server to crash. A player as a spectator takes the intelligence on a CTF map or as a spectator prevents the movement of the cart on a PL or PLR map. A player uses a coding error to gain access to admin commands.

    Exceptions: Players may sometimes trigger game events that result in a server crash, if unintended the action is not a major exploit. If the action is repeated, it is then considered an exploit.

    Escalation: 7+ Day Ban

    Exploit - Minor

    Definition: Actions performed by a player outside the server's intended actions, which modify the play experience.

    Philosophy: Exploits often prove disruptive to a team, which violates fairness. Players with an express interest in detracting from the enjoyment of other players or distracting from regular engagement violates the value of funmanship and community.

    Example: A player finds a way to gain access to a normally inaccessible area and uses it for strategic gain. A player finds a way to change the weapon model being displayed.

    Exceptions: Limitations in hardware can create scenarios where a player does not render properly or may see things that are intended to be unviewable, these are not exploits except when actively used by the player for strategic advantage. Game glitches are not uncommon and are not exploits unless a player purposefully tries to trigger them.

    Escalation: Warning - 1+ Day Ban* - 7+ Day Ban


    Definition: Modifying VAC-protected local game content or running a 3rd party program to modify the game experience to gain an in-game advantage.

    Philosophy: Hacking provides for a very asymmetrical game experience by modifying the game experience, which violates fairness.

    Example: A player uses a 3rd party tool to modify in game colors to make opposing players easier to identify. A player changes a protected game file to allow himself or herself to see through walls or barriers.

    Exceptions: Scripts and keyboard shortcuts are not considered hacks. In-game actions or scripts that provide unintended functionality are considered exploits.

    Escalation: Permanent Ban

    Note: If one can do it accidentally, the action is considered an Exploit - Major.

    Denial of Service

    Definition: Actions, or threats of action, that are intended to disrupt the stability of the server or a player's access to our servers by disrupting or congesting an executable process or network capabilities.

    Philosophy: Denial of service prevents us from fulfilling our overarching team goal. Players receive no positive experience from a non-functioning server. Threats to destabilise the server and deny players service must be considered serious declarations of intent until proven otherwise as the nature of an attack is such that a defense is required to allow us to continue operating. Attacks on other players with these methods constitute a deliberate attempt to prevent that player from being able to participate on our servers and constitute a denial of service.

    Example: A player floods a server with packets, generating in-game lag or crashing the server. A player utilizes bugs in Steam message functions to prevent another player from being able to meaningfully participate.

    Exceptions: It is often difficult to determine specifically which player initiated an attack when one comes and to escalate appropriately during one, as our ability to administrate in-game requires a functional server. Preference should be given to identification of attackers through server logs. It is possible to make the threat of a denial of service attack without intending to follow through; it is impossible to reliably know the intent of a player making these threats, though players may be warned not to make these threats before action is taken.

    Escalation: Permanent Ban

    Circumventing Admin Action

    Definition: Actions taken by players to bypass an admin action stemming from a previous infraction.

    Philosophy: Infraction responses attempt to correct a rules violation in a server; actions that circumvent that action reduce rules efficacy, violating fairness and empowerment. An environment where circumventing admin actions is allowed and trivial can create a hostile server environment, violating the value of community.

    Example: A player changes his or her name to untypable characters to avoid a kick or ban. A player leaves and immediately returns to avoid a mute. A player uses another account to access a server after he or she was banned.

    Exceptions: Players are often disconnected from servers for unknown reasons. A player resuming an infringing action upon return demonstrates departure with the intent to circumvent, whereas simply reconnecting should not be assumed to be circumventing.

    Escalation: Kick - 1+ Day Ban - 7+ Day Ban. Escalation for circumventing admin action should always start at a level above the original infringing action.


    Definition: Claiming game attributes and abilities within a server that one doesn't possess, claiming to be a person who one isn't, or claiming to represent team Interrobang when one does not. Philosophy: Authentication of players in a server environment is often difficult and acting as a representative of the team or a specific person when one is not can cause significant harm to community.

    Example: A player enters the the server with the tags [?] and threatens players with admin actions. A player logs in with another player's name.

    Exceptions: There are teams which use the interrobang as their insignia, in these cases impersonation begins when the player attempts to convey that he or she is an admin on a Team Interrobang server. A player on the inactive roster is not impersonating if under the impression that he or she still has admin powers and attempts to use these powers in good faith.

    Escalation: 1+ Day Ban - 7+ Day Ban - N/A

    Admin Abuse - Minor

    Definition: Using admin abilities to explicitly impair player experience.

    Philosophy: Misuse of admin powers threatens the ability to roll out new admin powers, which harms empowerment. Admin actions that harm player trust harm the value of community.

    Example: An admin kicks a player for a fleeting expletive without warning. An admin recommends a player perform an exploit and then seeks a ban for the player for performing it. A player is repeatedly muted, gagged, or silenced without warning or reason.

    Exceptions: It is possible to accidentally execute a disruptive admin command. Immediate attempts to fix such an error will suggest whether an act was malicious or not.

    Escalation: Warning - 3-day Probation - 7-day Probation - Loss of Membership

    Admin Abuse - Major

    Definition: Using admin abilities to severely disrupt the stability or operations of a server.

    Philosophy: Admin powers grant players access to functionality vital to maintain a quality server environment. Many of these abilities can cause long lasting damage to player opinion of a server harming community. Arbitrary usage of server-altering abilities can make players averse to new game modes, harming funmanship.

    Example: An admin purposefully kicks all players. An admin changes the map without player input and without warning with the intent of angering players.

    Exceptions: It is possible to accidentally execute a disruptive admin command. Immediate attempts to fix such an error will suggest whether an act was malicious or not.

    Escalation: 7-day Probation - Loss of Membership

    Severe Negligence

    Definition: Failure to prevent repeated misconduct on a server where the intent of the player action is both malicious and obvious.

    Philosophy: Standards of behavior are often ambiguous enough that an admin could reasonably not act when another would, but some actions committed in server are sufficiently excessive that a failure to act would be to completely neglect the basic value exchange of membership. Additionally, failure to stop unambiguously harmful actions can severely harm player opinion of the team.

    Example: A player in server is using a noclip hack and is flying about with the intelligence in clear view of the admin. A player is airing soundclips which are clearly hatespeech that the admin is failing to stop even after player request and having otherwise indicated that the admin's sound is on. Aiding a player in committing an exploit which is disruptive to the game like holding spawn doors open or launching a player into a normally inaccessible location with the intent to crash or disrupt the server.

    Exceptions: Hardware issues or handicaps often prevent a player from being completely aware of the server condition. Some proof of engagement over the medium of the ignored player action must exist.

    Escalation: Warning - 7-day Probation - Loss of Membership

    Being Away from the Game (AFK)

    While not technically a rules violation there is a defined procedure for dealing with players that are away from the game while logged into a server (AFK).

    Definition: Not providing game input while on a team. Momentary diversions are always possible and the upper end of being AFK is automatically taken care of by plugins. Members may intervene if the plugin is not being triggered due to scripted input or movement caused by other players or in cases where the level of action on a server is high and even a short departure would tilt the game.

    Philosophy: Players participate in a server to play. Having members on one's team that are not participating is demoralizing and often provides the opposing team a strategic advantage in terms of active players.

    Example: A player sits in respawn for serveral minutes while trying to fix a sound issue. A player repeatedly melee attacks a wall in a non-active area of a map.

    Exceptions: Engineers who've built anything in a non-trivial area of the map are not considered AFK as long as their buildings are in use or in an area that would reasonably receive use.

    Escalation: Move to Spectator after a voice or text notification as appropriate. If a player repeatedly returns to a team only to not play, he or she is circumventing an admin action and should be kicked.


    Members on probation lose access to admin commands as well as their reserved slot. While the player does not lose his or her tags he or she is still responsible for maintaining server order even if doing so requires contacting another admin to perform an admin command. A member may also be put on probation while under investigation for another infraction.

    Quick Reference

    Infraction 1st Infraction 2nd Infraction 3rd Infraction 4th Infraction
    Broadcast Abuse Warning Temp Mute/Kick Session Mute/Kick Long-Term Mute/Ban
    Spawn Killing Warning Kick 1+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban
    Impersonation 1+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban N/A N/A
    Griefing Warning 1+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban N/A
    Harassment Warning 1+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban N/A
    Exploit - Major 7+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban N/A N/A
    Exploit - Minor Warning 1+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban N/A
    Hacking Permanent Ban N/A N/A N/A
    Circ. Admin Action Kick 1+ Day Ban 7+ Day Ban N/A
    Member Only
    Admin Abuse - Minor Warning 3-day Probation 7-day Probation Loss of Membership
    Admin Abuse - Major 7-day Probation Loss of Membership N/A N/A
    Severe Negligence Warning 7-day Probation Loss of Membership N/A