Overview

A must-avoid is intended for situations where neither party has broken our rules, but one or both wish to avoid the other. A must-avoid is not a sanction. If you have reason to believe that someone has broken our conduct rules, we encourage you to report the problem to the conduct team and they'll discuss the options with you.

A must-avoid does not prevent accidental contact but it aims to formally minimise social contact between two participants who do not wish to interact, so that they do not have to talk to each other or spend time in each other's company.

All must-avoids apply equally to both people, regardless of which person requested it.

How Do I Request a Must-Avoid?

  • Contact the conduct team to request a must-avoid
  • A must-avoid request is not the same as a report of a conduct problem, and does not involve any investigation
  • You don't have to provide any reason for requesting one and you will not be asked for details
  • Asking for a must-avoid does not prevent you also reporting a conduct problem

If you want a must-avoid then you must contact the conduct team. A must-avoid is not part of our official conduct complaint system, but the administration is handled by the conduct team. You don't have to provide any reasoning for why you want to have a must-avoid. The team won't carry out any investigation or require any further details - they will simply check that you understand what a must-avoid entails, and then they will speak to the other party as quickly as possible to let them know the restrictions that both you and they are under.

If you choose to share details about your reasoning with the conduct team, they may ask you if you wish to make a report about a conduct problem, depending on what you have told them. This is always optional. Asking for a must-avoid also does not prevent you from reporting a conduct problem at the same time, or in the future, if you want to.

What Does it Entail?

  • Make all reasonable efforts to avoid close social contact with the other person
  • Don't start or join a conversation with the other person at any time
  • At Empire main events or player events, avoid group camps and tents if the other person is present
  • You can share large communal areas such as GOD, the Hub, the Hall of Worlds or the Senate building, provided you remain apart
  • You must not attempt to harm each other's characters in any way
  • You must avoid interacting with each other online wherever possible
  • These restrictions apply equally to both parties - whoever is in a group camp or tent first has the right to remain
  • These restrictions apply at all times

Participants under a must-avoid should not approach any medium sized group (around 12 or fewer people) that includes the other person, regardless of the IC situation. Neither party is expected to avoid the entire nation camp where the other player is based, and both parties can still attend large communal gatherings like Conclave, the Senate, the Forge Tavern, or a nation muster, or out-of-character areas such as GOD. However, they must make all reasonable efforts to stay a significant distance away from each other - they should position themselves at the other side of the room/tent/clearing. Unless they are certain the other participant is not present, they should avoid each others' group camps.

Both parties should avoid IC factors that would cause them to come into contact with each other. They should avoid player-versus-player (PvP) activities with each other, and must make all reasonable efforts to avoid coming into IC conflict. It is not acceptable for one person's character to seek to have the other killed or to try to damage their political fortunes, even if the possibility exists to do so without physically encountering them. If either party holds an in-character title, neither person may attempt to have them revoked, replaced, or similar.

Participants under a must-avoid should avoid interacting with each other in any Profound Decisions official online communities. They must refrain from sending each other emails, private messages, or texts, unless there is a legitimate need to do so.

These rules always apply equally to both parties - in effect, whoever is already present and roleplaying in a camp has the right to remain there, and the player who has just arrived should make their excuses and leave the area. Accidental contact is possible - but we expect the party that has arrived to follow the spirit of this rule and depart the area quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

What If the Must-Avoid is Violated?

  • If you think the other party has breached the must-avoid then you should report this to the conduct team
  • If you need advice about how you can best follow a must-avoid, you can talk to the conduct team
  • Any deliberate breaches of a must-avoid are a very serious conduct matter and will result in a formal warning or permanent ban

If you think you will have difficulty avoiding the other person, you should discuss that with the conduct team at the earliest opportunity. They can provide advice to help resolve any potential problems. If you feel the other person is not following the spirit of the rules and making all reasonable efforts to avoid you, you should report this to the conduct team.

Deliberately breaching a must-avoid is very serious, and will result in a participant receiving a formal warning or permanent ban. If we feel that one party has attempted to follow the letter of the rules rather than the spirit of them, we will treat that as breaching the must-avoid.

How Does it Affect Crew?

  • A must-avoid does not stop someone from crewing in an existing role
  • We won't appoint someone to a crew position that would bring them into closer contact with a party they must avoid

We won't remove someone from an existing position on crew because of a must-avoid. However, where practical, we will look to avoid appointing anyone under a must avoid order to a crew position that would bring them into increased contact or visibility with any participants they have been instructed to avoid.

Further Reading