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East Continent
Complaint #980
Date: July 06, 2021
Title: Protest and Expectation of Letter
About: Delphine de Montigny (Francois), Ender Fate (Richard), and Gislin Luitolf (RC)

This case was reported to us following various messages and a protest which centred on a ruler (Alyssa) not making a public statement to the realm following a referendum which focused on Alyssa's leadership. The concern here was that there was an Inalienable Right (IR) violation; specifically, the activity IR. Since there were multiple incidents spanning mostly the same day, we have decided to provide a brief timeline of events in the hope that it will aid in understanding how the situation unfolded.

July 06, 2021
  • At about 00:15, the referendum came to a conclusion.
  • At about 11:30, there was a protest by Ender Fate: "Why is our Queen so silent on one of the most pressing issues our realm faces? Our voices are being actively, emphatically being ignored. Which is part of the problem."
  • At about 14:00, there was a message from Delphine, the relevant part being: "As you, I would have expected to hear from the Queen by now on such an important issue.  Should she remain silent for another half day, it will show that she does not care and should be removed, already it is not a good start."
  • At about 14:18, there was a message from Gislin Luitolf containing the two quotes: "Her quietness is my entire point. Even is she does not have the time to write something in depth, a simple 'I will address this soon' would at least show us that she has it in her sights and cares. I have not seen even this." AND "Again it is your right to protest, but I again am asking that you hold off for a while. Give the queen another day or so to process this information and open talks."
  • At about 15:00, there was an Out-of-Character (OoC) message containing a couple paragraphs from Alyssa. This was the first sign of activity from the ruler.
July 08, 2021
  • At about 12:15, Alyssa was protested out of office for various reasons.

Going in order of events, we will first cover the decision regarding Ender Fate. The protest was deemed to be a possible IR violation because there were no signs of activity from Alyssa between the referendum's conclusion and the protest. We found there to be a reasonable interpretation that this protest was focused upon issues prior to the referendum. There were, after all, other protests around that time about prior issues. Despite this uncertainty, the fact that there was a reasonable interpretation of the protest being centrally focused on the lack of a response to the referendum, led to us to judge this to be within the "ten-foot pole" radius of the IRs.

Considering the above, and the fact that the only other reasonable punishment was a temporary account lock, we decided to issue a public warning to Ender Fate.

Next is Delphine de Montigny. Delphine's message was deemed to be an IR violation because it pressured the player of Alyssa, who had not yet been active, to respond to the referendum within a single day. Essentially, the message states: "If you don't login and respond to us within twenty-four hours, then you do not care and should be removed from rulership." This type of message is not a "ten-foot pole" situation; this is a clear IR violation. Unlike the protest from Ender Fate, this message was clearly about a response to the referendum as indicated by the context of the conversation, and Delphine de Montigny was a government member (General).

Due to the aforementioned reasons, Delphine de Montigny was stripped of their position as General and locked out of the position for fourteen days.

Finally, we arrive at Gislin Luitolf. For the sake of brevity we did not include all the relevant messages from Gislin, some of which occurred prior to Delphine's message. The messages by Gislin were deemed to NOT be an IR violation because the concerning aspects of the messages were clearly focused upon reeling in protests, some of which legitimate, until Alyssa had a chance to respond. It should also be noted that Gislin did not protest Alyssa following the referendum despite doing so before the referendum.  This lends credence to the idea that the focus was not on the Alyssa's lack of response to the referendum. Considering that there was concern that a player might reasonably interpret parts of the messages from Gislin as pressure to be more active, we judged this to be, at most, within a "ten-foot pole" of the IR.

With the above in mind, we issued a public warning to Gislin Luitolf.


The activity IR is of paramount importance as it is connected to the very essence of BattleMaster—a light-weight game. Any violation, or even getting close to a violation, of the IR will result in Titan action. Consequences, or the threat of consequences, for inactivity will not be tolerated. Even pressuring people to be more active than is required by the game will not be tolerated. The fact is that allowing any possible transgression of the IRs, no matter how slight, will result in the degradation or slow erosion of BattleMaster's foundation.

During this case, we applied the logic that the activity IR consisted primarily of the right to log in to play when one wants. This meant that if you logged in and played, then you were active. (There was more nuance, but we will not go into all the details in order to keep this summary at a reasonable length.) For this reason, we did not take into consideration anything which occurred after Alyssa's OOC message. This is reflected in the timeline given with the case summary (i.e. no events are listed between Alyssa's message and her getting protested out).

Following the verdict in this case there was more discussion amongst the Admins and the Titans about how to deal with players, specifically council members, who are only able to play for a short period of time on a given day. As shown by this case, there are certainly times when a council member has a crisis to address but doesn't have the time on their first login to do so. While the previous method did allow for the council member to be protected in this type of instance, there were concerns that the previous method did not go quite far enough in protecting players' ability to play at a temporarily decreased pace.

Moving Forward

In the short term, during some kind of crisis, whether external or internal, or even if it's a crisis the council member precipitated themselves, demanding that they be there to manage that crisis—which is to say, demanding that they devote any particular amount of their time, effort, and energy to the game over a short period of time—is a violation of the activity IR. For the vast majority of cases, this "short term" translates to all council members being allowed TEN days to respond to a crisis. The exception here, is if there is egregious negligence by the council member.

In the long term, and in the aggregate, council members are expected to fulfill the duties of the office more or less to the degree their realm expects. If a council member is serially unable to do so for any reason, including their own activity level, then that reflects on their choice to remain in that position rather than giving it up to allow someone else to take it. This does not mean that a realm can expect an unreasonably high level of activity.

In essence, we are saying: Your right to play at your own pace is protected. Your right to play without fulfilling your duties is not.

Answers to Potential Questions

What is egregious negligence?

Egregious negligence, this being a rough example, would be them sending out many letters on different days all while neglecting to handle the crisis. In this example, they clearly would have had the time and energy to play but chose to be silent on the issue, so protesting would be acceptable. With the exception pointed out, we still generally recommend trying to give the full ten days for two reasons: 1) Egregious negligence is a rather subjective term. Your interpretation of egregious negligence may not align with other players, including the Titans as they are players as well. 2) It is rarely the case that you cannot wait for the full ten days to pass. It will not kill your realm, or your character, to wait the ten days.

What is an unreasonably high level of activity?

If a realm is expecting a council member to send a large amount of messages, which can only be achieved by having a high level of activity all the time, that is unreasonable. If a realm is expecting a council member to always respond to messages in a single day, or even within five days, that is unreasonable. Council members still hold the right to not login more than once every five days even in the long term, provided they are still fulfilling their duties. Demanding that they generally respond within five days is reasonable so long as the message count being demanded of them is not unreasonable.

Why is the short term limit set to ten days?

Council members automatically abdicate their position if they do not play for five days. This means that they have to play at least once every five days. By giving players ten days, this guarantees that they will have, at the very least, two separate days of playing to address any issue.

Why does so much of this, and other rules, carry such subjective terms? Wouldn't it be better to lay out precisely what is meant by the terms?

Covering every single situation, which would require many explanations and exceptions, is not possible; to attempt to do so would require writing a novel. We try to avoid requiring players to read a novel to follow the rules. Along with the concern of length is the concern of rules-lawyering, and players intentionally trying to stretch the very limits of what is expected. If we always give a very precise line, players will abuse this by going exactly up to that line while acting in bad faith. For these reasons, we try to focus primarily on conveying and enforcing the spirit of the rules rather than the letter of the rules. You can see an example of that at the end of the "Moving Forward" section: "Your right to play at your own pace is protected. Your right to play without fulfilling your duties is not."
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Dragon Eye: Legacy / Re: Early Access Launch
« Last post by Tom on July 09, 2021, 05:59:29 PM »
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Dragon Eye: Legacy / Early Access Launch
« Last post by Tom on July 03, 2021, 07:09:43 AM »
And we are live!
https://lemuriaorg.itch.io/dragon-eye-legacy


Dragon Eye Legacy is a standalone adventure roleplaying game for Mac, Windows and Linux.
The young Nevan is following the last, mysterious words of his father to save his family and, as he will soon find out, discover some of the secrets of this world.
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Development / Re: NewReader/NewWriter feedback
« Last post by Jimgerdes on June 27, 2021, 10:15:17 PM »
Spoke with Laststar Family (Cody on Discord), Haguns Family (Haguns on Discord) about additional problems we discovered, specifically with the global RP channel.

Once an RP is viewed, it is no longer viewable once off the page.  Similarly, attempting to access prior posts using the time filters (last week, all dates, etc.) result in Syntax errors, and the posts cannot be accessed.

The errors were: 

Yesterday:

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SyntaxError: Unexpected token in JSON at position 1316

Restoring 60 bytes from yesterday 3...

Last Week:

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SyntaxError: Unexpected token in JSON at position 1311

Restoring 60 bytes from week 3...

All Dates:

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SyntaxError: Unexpected token in JSON at position 1310

Restoring 60 bytes from all 3...

Additionally, it seems like there is a problem with viewing messages from other realms in the global RP channel.  My character in Perdan can see the post that Laststar (also in Perdan) made, but cannot see the post that Haguns (Yssrgard) mentions that he made recently as well.

Edit:  Haguns seems to be able to see Laststars, the issue may be that Haguns posted his a day prior to my viewing, and thus does not load for me to see.  An issue of timing rather than of realm.  This has already been reported to the bugtracker.
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Development / Re: Why's it so hard to become a courtier?
« Last post by pcw27 on June 26, 2021, 11:57:45 PM »
I do not recall for certain the specific reason at this point, but I believe it was to ensure that realms did not force new, and thus "untrusted", members to be courtiers and perform region maintenance work for some amount of time upon joining.

Well that would be an egregious IR violation if a realm did that. If a realm wanted to saddle newbies with grunt work knights can still perform civil and police work.

I'd suggest dialing this one back to at least the 2 week limit.
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Development / Re: NewReader/NewWriter feedback
« Last post by Anaris on June 26, 2021, 06:31:17 PM »
First off, love the look of the new reader and the new features are very cool.

I noticed a couple of things just in my cursory glance through.  The first is that marked messages aren't appearing correctly.  There is no tab in the new viewer to easily reach my currently marked messages.

Ah; yes, this is an oversight that will be rectified Soon™.

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As well, marked messages seem to be removed from the "Today" tab once they are marked.  They re-appear once unmarked.

...That's a bit odd.

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The other thing that immediately jumped out at me is that the filters "All types - messages - reports - events - orders - OOC" are missing.  This was a super useful tool to quickly find relevant messages and I hope it will be included again soon.

My hope was that the customizable tab filters (once the filter-builder is more accessible) will be able to make that unnecessary.

However, it's also possible that some people will always want those, at least on some tabs; if that proves to be the case, then I may add an option to include it per-filter (aka per-tab).

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I'll keep looking around and messing with it and update the thread as I find anything else worth mentioning.  Excited for this and the new writer to launch!

Glad to hear it! ;D
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Development / Re: NewReader/NewWriter feedback
« Last post by Jimgerdes on June 26, 2021, 05:32:31 PM »
Hey!

First off, love the look of the new reader and the new features are very cool.

I noticed a couple of things just in my cursory glance through.  The first is that marked messages aren't appearing correctly.  There is no tab in the new viewer to easily reach my currently marked messages.  As well, marked messages seem to be removed from the "Today" tab once they are marked.  They re-appear once unmarked.

The other thing that immediately jumped out at me is that the filters "All types - messages - reports - events - orders - OOC" are missing.  This was a super useful tool to quickly find relevant messages and I hope it will be included again soon.

I'll keep looking around and messing with it and update the thread as I find anything else worth mentioning.  Excited for this and the new writer to launch!
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Development / Re: Why's it so hard to become a courtier?
« Last post by Anaris on June 25, 2021, 02:07:19 PM »
I do not recall for certain the specific reason at this point, but I believe it was to ensure that realms did not force new, and thus "untrusted", members to be courtiers and perform region maintenance work for some amount of time upon joining.
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Development / Why's it so hard to become a courtier?
« Last post by pcw27 on June 25, 2021, 05:29:15 AM »
I remember a while back you could choose to start as a courtier. Now it requires 21 days in realm. Why?

It's easier to become a priest. Priests are a lot more powerful than courtiers in my experience. Also it's impossible to eject a priest from a religion. There has always been a lot of potential for people to easily infiltrate religions and be impossible to remove.

So with that in mind why are courtiers such a privileged class. Is it concern that too many people will play as them thus undermining the war and combat nature of battlemaster? I doubt that will happen. It's rare for there to be more than a couple courtiers in a given realm.
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Announcements / Retiring Old Account Page
« Last post by Anaris on March 01, 2021, 08:48:26 PM »
As part of overhauling BattleMaster's authentication system to use a more modern, secure method, we have updated the Account page to also operate through the modern Symfony framework. At present, this will only mean minor visible changes from your perspective as players—with one notable exception.

The old Account page (/userdata.php), which the current Account page replaced four years ago, will not be updated in the same way, and will be retired completely when this update goes live in a week's time.

Because we still have some people using it, we want to try to understand what it is about the old page that you prefer, so that as we work on improving the modern Account page, we can keep that in mind. If you have thoughts on this, please come and share them in the #development channel on the BattleMaster Discord server, or, if you're not comfortable joining us on Discord, in the Development board on the forum or by email at community@battlemaster.org. We have no desire to leave people behind, but we can't easily justify maintaining two separate Account pages anymore with our very limited developer resources.
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