Warning - contains nuts, lactose, pork-fat, blasphemy, explicit sexual references, mod bashing, radu-baiting, humour, fiction, opinion, painfull truth and other shitz not suitable for young peeps, EL mods and those of an excitable disposition. It's also quite long so anyone who gets freaked out by having to read more than five lines, here's your chance to bail.
Part 1 - In which we learn about themunts close relationship with rools (omfg)
Much of my crappy day job is focused on wrangling roolz as, incredible though it may sound, peepz will pay you good money to draft, interpret and apply these nasty little things. Jeez, you can get several good holidays a year paid for either to talk about or listen to other fools talk about roolz. I write about roolz; read about roolz; review roolz and even help the gubbamint create roolz about roolz. Indeed, the tedious class's insatiable appetite for roolz has paid for my kids educations, my home, car, clothes, cars and (not least of all) Mrs Munt's prodigious capability for household expenditure.
Mrs Munt has her own roolz which mainly involve stopping her patients treading dog muck, mud and grass stains into the cream carpet in hallway as they wind their sorry arses to her consulting room. Whilst the shocking relevance of this will soon become clear (dear reader), at this point, suffice to say that i've had quite enough of roolz at the end of the working day, particularly when the roolz they produce look like they might have been drafted by one of Mrs Munt's more exotic customers when they've been off their meds for wayyyyy too long.
Therefore, i'm not given to write seriously about rools, but to troll them MASSIVELY in the time honoured fashion for which I am loved and celebrated across Eternal Land and all the way to this small sun dappled pool lying deep within the enchanted forest of Learner's Other Life.
Part 2 - In which we learn the limitation of roolz and how to keep hobos out of your house
Ofc the thing that your average amateur rool junkie forgets is that they are invariably a piss poor substitute for physical controls. This is why its preferable to fit a big lock to your front door rather than a big sign saying 'plz nohobos'. And don't make the rookie mistake of having both the lock and the sign, otherwise you'll discover that hobo's will make a particular point of stealing your lock and pawning it to buy a litre of cheap toilet cleaner which they'll then take back to your house and drink, whilst relaxing in your favourite chair and pissing all over your cream carpet.
See, the unfortunate thing about roolz is that breaking them becomes an irrestible challenge when some complete arsehat insists on pushing one in your face. If you absolutely must have a roolz. Then the only justification should be that there's entirely no other way to implement the desired control and, that having a rool would be significantly better than having no control at all. However, always bear in mind that roolz are like rabbits. The moar you have, the moar they breed, bringing with them inefficiency, expense, frustration, unfairness and building you a reputation as a powuh crazed little arsehat.
Ofc, if you're fully in touch with your inner powuh crazed arsehat, (as many are), it still pays to recognise that ordinary peeps have a limited attention span for reading roolz, and usually prefer to spend their time engaged more productive pursuits, eg smoking weed, drinking alchohol and posting random shit on Unofficial Forums. Hence, if you are going to start a roolz farm in the vain hope that it may make you moar attractive to lady gamers, be prepared to turn failure into an artform as the only lady gamers you're likely to impress are the hairy ones.
Part 3 - In which we get a crash course on 'doing it wrong' and learn why her patients tend to obey Mrs Munt
If even peeps do read your roolz (something that is highly unlikely), be prepared that most won't be arsed to follow them unless they see good reason to. Hence if you use prescriptive patronising language such as 'don't walk on the grass', its pretty much the equivalent of asking for your grass to end up as collateral damage. A more effective version would be 'plz don't walk on the grass as it ends up getting trod into the cream carpet - by order of Mrs Munt'. This works because nearly everyone is a sucker for a reasonable request from a foul mouthed dominatrix with whips and curves in all the right places.
However, by far the most unspeakably worse thing you can do with a rool is to treat it like a Swedish penis enlarger and start throwing around threats of unspeakable punishments, ie 'grass walkers will be banished'. The only other peepz likely to be impressed are complete nublet, incurable sycophants, and children under the age of 12. Anything wiser, older, or with gonads, will no doubt spot you for the weapons-grade asshat you surely are.
The thing about a well written rool is that it should espouse a simple, obvious and desirable outcome, ie the kind of rational common sense that only a complete asshat would ignore. In contrast, the badly written rool is one that it sounds like your parents telling you to be home by 10pm when you know you're going to be up all night doing unimaginable things with your favourite crack whore.
In which we examine rool #1 and learn why lists in roolz are a bad idea and why language is not the enemy
Another tell tale sign that you'd perhaps be better off forgetting a career in rool making and maybe just sticking to golf is when you find yourself drafting long repetitive lists of minor variations of stuff that you don't want peeps to do, eg 'do not use language which is sexually explicit, threatening, abusive, defamatory, obscene, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise offensive. This includes clear and implied language, images or links to websites with such content. This includes purposeful variances upon the spelling of such content for the purposes of bypassing the filters'.
This kind of rool is dumber than sticking your finger in a live electric socket, coz your long list of variations is never going to be long enough. As fast as you think you've captured every obvious example of stuff you don't want to hear, trolls will come out of the ground and invent new ones simply for the lulz of watching you increase the length of your list from the absurd to the completely batshit ridiculous. Then, as you foam at the mouth, they'll politely remind you that you've just tripped over your own dumb rool when you block cap a four lettered expletive of such unspeakable foulness and depravity that even StArcane is left speechless.
Thing is, 'appropriate language' is a many splendoured thing which depends large on a range of factors which the dear lord purposely made impossible for the paranoid and overly sensitive amongst us to capture in a single list. Fact is that, rather like teh Pokemon, you can never collect ever possible variation of things that cause offence, especially when noxious trollz get satisfaction from continually making up new ones.
In any case, its not language that needs to be appropriate but the context and purpose for which it is used. As an example, if I waltz into kf and claim it as kingdom of teh dwarves, then threaten to defend it against all the other smelly, profligate and godless races, i'm clearly being threatening, defamatory and hateful. Worse still, i'm being racially and ethnically intolerant and; by the time i've also explained why I don't want good dwarfish girls defiled by the pox ridden Orchans i'll prolly have broken every rool in the list. It's therefore strangely ironic that, if I call the Orchans a bunch of filthy jedi, the roolz are completely silent on the matter of make-believe religions. Yup, there's some half baked twoddle about stuff that is 'otherwise offensive' but the problem with 'catch all' clauses is that they effectively license for every kook, shill and noxious troll to claim offense at the colour of someones shirt, let alone the grammar nazis claiming offence over a punctuation error.
Nope, you may think the inserting a 'catch all' is really clever, but its simply an admission to the world that you're either too lazy to create a record breaking list of 'don'ts or, the kind of intolerant little arsehat who'd ban peeps simply because he didn't like them saying 'hi' in the wrong font.
A far better objective for this rool is to to define the consequences of language that you'd like peeps to avoid, ie 'Communication between player must avoid statements likely to expose either themselves or the server operator to potential legal liability or, which they ought reasonably to expect would cause unreasonable distress or damage to another person'.
See there's no need to have a Guiness Book of Records length shit-list when you simply espouse an outcome that is desirable for everyone. In this particular respect, those of us that hail from usenet know only too well that peepz do get kook-suited for saying the wrong shit to the wrong kooky idiot, and server operators have been known to be whisked off by the men in black helicopters and then sent to Gitmo wearing only their underpants and an orange boiler suit simply because their servers got hijacked by jihadi's, kiddy pr0n and mafiosa. (Learner - be warned!)
In which we examine rool #2 and learn that there's really no such thing as harrassment
Besides avoiding having rools whenever possible, the other golden rool of rools is clarity of language. Whilst your average amateur rool maker might think that a few vague legalistic expressions will give him moar powuh and respect, all it really does is provide more loopholes and sport for trolls who will highlight every minor inconsistency until you end up looking like a jack boot wearing arsehat who makes the rools up to suit themself (which you probably do in any case).
Be aware that peeps will gradually lose respect for your carefully crafted roolz and, before you know it, trolls will rip your epeen into a thousand tiny fragments. No sir, loose language is the enemy. Lets take for instance this gnarly example, ie 'Harrasment is not limited to the type of language used; it encompasses the intent. This includes clear and implied language that are systematically and/or continually unwarranted and annoying. This includes the distribution, release or discussion of any real life personal or private information about other players, moderators or volunteers of Eternal Lands. Repeatedly targetting a specific player or persons with harrassment will have severe consequences'.
This is classic 'Swedish penis enlarger' and lolzworthy on an almost inter-galactic scale. It's also wrong. Harrassment is one of those words that means different things to different peeps, ie if someone bag-jumps you 10x in two days, let me tell you, you're gonna feel pretty damned harrased and, are likely to be taking it pretty personally. By the same token, if Learner keeps dropping mobs on you everytime to go afk to take a crap, only to return and find that clops have stolen your exc cape for the third time that day, you really aren't going to be smiling. Be under no doubt that both are harrassment, and both cause immense lulz to the 'purp' and dreadful pain to the 'vic'. However, that doesn't make it wrong! It simply means that you've been royally pwnt and are now required (by long accepted internet convention) to eat it up like a man.
Alas there are these weird and brittle personalities who, if you post 'death to all gnomes' more than twice a day will automatically feel harrassed. Next thing they start running up the skirt of the nearest moderator and, if you haven't bought a shit load of rosto's from teh 'Ye Olde Gayme Shoppe' that week, you'll be 'block capped' by teh_boss demanding that you immediately order a king size pack of rosto's, or be banzorred to infinity and beyond.
If you must have a rool, make it focus on determing the difference between valid role play between chars, and poisonous vendetta's between players, ie 'characters should interact either in a way that should not reasonably be expected to cause excessive nuisence to others or, in a manner that is consistent with the type of in-game role that ought reasonably to be expected by other players within the context of a fantasy medieval environment'. Yeah, that really was an 'or'.
The benefit of this kind of approach (besides ommiting lots of words and all the bullshit posturing), is that it seeks to differentiates activity undertaken simply to annoy others from activity that other players finds annoying. You can't legislate for peeps getting annoyed, but you sure can for attention seeking asshats who go out of their way to cause problems (not including my good self ofc). At the same time, its necessary to protect everyone from the attention of pocket nazi's who like to find stuff annoying simply to remind everyone that they can (oh yes Revi).
In which we look at rool #3 and why 'respect' and 'pointless repetition' are not quite the same thing. Plus we get to worship Learner as the saviour of common sense within the gaming universe.
For the pr0 rool-meister, there's never any shortage of crazy amateur abominations to look and wonder at. Why do these online space cadets insist of endlessly repeating the same thing over and over like they were a creating an even moar tedious version of Coleridge's 'Ancient Mariner'. Repetition is fine in poetry, but rools are an exercise in form and function. Less is moar, and nothing at all is what you should be striving for. After all, the fact that you are even considering inventing a rool clearly marks you out as a congenital asshat with a desperate Napololean complex.
Yup, I know you are ashamed but, do not despair as I (themuntdregger) am here to show the true path to roolz enlightement and save you ending up as just another sad 40 minutes on Mrs Munts consulting couch. So lets look at an easy example of 'doing it wrong' which even a complete roolz nub would surely spot, ie 'You must respect the rights of others and their rights to enjoy the game. In order to show proper respect, you may not not harass, threaten, insult, name call or cause distress or unwanted attention to other members, moderators, volunteers or developers. Do not advocate, start or participate in any discussions that are racist, sexist, ant-religious, anti-ethnic, anti-gay or other hatemongering philosophies or anything that is sexually explicit in public. Do not organise nor be part of any guild or group within Eternal Lands or their forums that do so. Do not patronise, mislead or take advantage of people (newbies) as they become acquainted with the environment and make beginners mistakes **NOTE** this does NOT include pking, pvping, spawn stealing, bag stealing/jumping, or guild/interguild issues. These WILL be treated as such.'
I guess there's no need for me to point out all the contradictions, subjectivities, lazy catch-alls and an entire herd of penis enlargers camped out on the grass. Clearly this is not the kind of rool that will make you attractive to any woman (except maybe Maxine). Luckily, Learner (bless him) has already worked overtime to put this one right. Yup, log on to OL and you'll be greeted by the only rool he's ever bothered to make (besides the one about not stealing bitches from his personal hareme), and its a real beauty...
Remember, think about whats good for most people in the game, not if something is legal or not. That is the best way to improve OL.
I like this rool, so 'Hail Learner' for having grace, skill and common sense', then award him zero points for leaving the rest of the rotten EL rools sticking to the OL client, like so much fresh dung to a very wolly blanket.
Oh the shame!