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Staff Guidelines

What to do if you happen to become a staff member



Introduction to staff protocols
Staff members have an important job on the server. They are leaders of the community and role models, setting the attitude for everyone else in our community.

Below are the protocol guidelines for certain situations that may happen while on the server. Please familiarize yourself with these, as you may need to pull them from memory on the spot.

You should follow these protocols as much as possible, but a word from an experienced admin or Josh can usually override this.

Please feel free to let us know if there's more reasons or possible forms of punishment we should add.


Forum guidelines

  1. There are forum staff and server staff, two separate ranks. Forum staff assist with keeping threads clean and updated, while server staff can only manage ban appeals. You will earn forum staff typically after being server staff for awhile.
  2. If you have the ability to reply to locked threads, please don't abuse your power and only reply when necessary.
  3. Necro-bumping (posting in old threads) is looked down upon but not necessairly punishable. If a user does this, please issue a warning on that post.
  4. Apply the appropriate prefix to a thread upon closing it. The only time you don't need a prefix to lock a thread is when it goes far off-topic.
  5. Don't reply to ban appeals unless you have specific important information regarding it.


"Unspoken" staff rules

  1. If you are a Moderator and there is an Admin online, have the Admin carry out the punishments (or at least check with them before issuing any infractions.) This should be followed for newer staff; more experienced staff will probably not have to do this.
  2. If you are a new staff member, you are expected to know these guidelines as thoroughly as a long-term Admin would know them. Ignorance is not a valid excuse for making mistakes.
  3. Do NOT teleport people without their permission unless you are spying on them or they directly ask you to. There are a few guidelines for teleports:
  4. Never use a staff command (a command granted to you upon promotion) for friends or fun. This means no using /vanish to get out of being attacked or hiding from your friends, no rolling back your friend's building to annoy them, etc.
  5. You are allowed to enter anybody's property for any reason (Mods + Admins)
  6. If you find any glitches in the server that allow you to cheat, gain money, smuggle items, duplicate items, or give someone an unfair advantage, tell me! Even if you have used it a bit, I will totally forgive you if you tell me about it so I can fix it. I will even give a reward if I see fit. If you hear about exploits from other people, I expect to know immediately no matter how severe.
  7. You can use the in-game staff channel by prefixing your message with an "@" symbol. Example: @Hi guys!. This works across realms.
  8. Please stay updated with other wiki pages as well. Know every page like the back of your hand so you can assist people on the spot. This includes knowing our policies so you can take advantage of your commands in an effective, but proper way.

Commands
Although listed in the Command Reference, below is a description of the punishment commands.

/infractions (player) — Shows a list of all the warnings, mutes, bans, etc., on a person's account. Even if they change their name, you'll still see their punishments.
/mute [player] [time] [reason] — Mutes a player for a specified time (in minutes).
/cban [player] [reason] — Forces the user to go to the Hub and complete a "ban appeal" with the server. They'll be prompted to promise not to break the rules again, and upon success, be unbanned.
/ban [player] [reason] — Locks a player out of the server until they complete a ban appeal online. They still have a hope of being unbanned, even if they have other c-bans or warns on their account.
/pban [player] — Permanently ban a player. Useful if this is their second ban for the same reason. They cannot appeal, and any appeals mean they've already submitted a ban appeal. Do not /pban without an existing ban on the account. (unless there are special cases like DDoS, etc., which should be handled by an Admin)
/unban [player] — Only use this if an appeal has been accepted. Our store will also use a version of this command to unban people if they buy a ban appeal.

/kick [player] (reason)Use Sparingly! — This command will NOT show up under a user's /infractions. It should be used only as a fallback in case certain parts of the ban system aren't working, or you need to forcibly disconnect someone from the server.


Ban appeals
As a staff member, you can participate in ban appeals. Keep the appeal process quick and easy. Here are some guidelines:

If a person has not logged in the forums for 1 month, mark the appeal as "Cancelled" (not "Rejected"). This usually requires you to go through old appeals.


Unfortunately, due to prolonged inactivity, your appeal has been cancelled. If you would still like to be considered for an unban, please open up another ban appeal.
If an appeal is going well and the person promises not to break the rules again, unban them, accept the appeal, and post the following message.

Because you have agreed to follow the rules, you are now unbanned! Please keep in mind that the next time you break a rule again, you will be permanently banned and unable to appeal.
We ask that if you weren't directly involved in the appeal, you stay out of it (unless you have helpful information regarding the ban).
The goal is to get them to promise not to break that rule again. If you see them saying that, go ahead and accept it. The good thing about appeals is that it scares them into not breaking the rules again, and if they do we can permanently ban them.
If a person is permanently banned, or for some reason a staff messed up and normal-banned them again (twice) for the same reason, reject the appeal with the following message.

Due to your continued ignorance of our rules, the staff team has decided not to remove the ban on your account. Please consider purchasing an unban if you would really like to come back to Cobalt.


Punishment reasons
Every time you "punish" a person (either by banning, warning, muting, etc.), you can use one of the following reasons for the punishment. Use /mod security while in-game for a smaller list. You can use your own reasons, however it is best to stick to the following:

  1. "unspecified": use sparingly for infractions not listed
  2. "swearing": any form of swearing (signs, etc) or attempting to bypass the filter
  3. "advertising": any form of sharing links or names to other servers
  4. "spamming": repetitive repeating of phrases or words
  5. "griefing": destruction of other people's stuff, includes stealing
  6. "disrespect": any form of harassment or defiance to the staff or other players
  7. "mods": use of mods, also known as hacking, is modifying the client with a modification that is not on the Allowed Mods list
  8. "racism": specifically being racist
  9. "nazi": building, using, or talking about nazi symbols, includes nazi skins
  10. "nudity": wearing of a skin that displays nudity, or building nude structures
  11. "exploits": any abuse of exploits, this can be small or large
  12. "caps": talking with too many capital letters (do not use unless the filter is broken)
  13. "minimod": trying to be a staff member and annoyingly telling users what to do and not to do
  14. "english": speaking languages other than English
  15. "bullying": targeting a player with the intention to upset or annoy
The cool thing about these reasons is that it will show a customized message to the person and explain to them (in detail) what they did wrong. If you think I should add another one, let me know.

If you decide to come up with your own reason, it must be over 10 characters long to be accepted buy the logic parsing system. Please be descriptive, as your custom reason will be the only thing people see regarding why they're banned, muted, or warned.

Below is a description of the usage for each of the above infractions.

Swearing
Our filter is capable of blocking out most swearing. However, some words aren't programmed in, and there may be ways for people to get around the filter. Because all of the words we want blocked are blocked by the filter, if you see someone bypassing the filter, please follow this protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

Note: some users really seem to like swearing, and if you can sense that, feel free to mute them as much as you deem necessary. However, if people haven't sworn before, then warn them.

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] swearing

1 infraction
1. /mute [player] 2-10 swearing

2 infractions
1. /cban [player] swearing

3 infractions
1. /ban [player] swearing

4 infractions
1. /pban [player] swearing


Advertising
Our filter can block most websites and IP addresses. If a player talks about another server or advertises an IP, please follow this protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

Note: often times new users will log on and spam an IP instantly. If so, please still warn them. Feel free to issue a mute right after the warn if necessary.

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] advertising

1 infraction
1. /cban [player] advertising

2 infractions
1. /ban [player] advertising

3 infractions
1. /pban [player] advertising

Spamming
Most spam is filtered out of the system. There are a few cases when someone is just annoying and won't stop talking. If so, please follow this protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

Note: use punishments up to your discretion. If a person spams multiple times in a row, then a c-ban may be necessary. However, if the spam records are over multiple weeks, use warns more than bans.

Also keep in mind that the "spam" category applies to any /modreq spam. If people spam a lot, I can add a feature to block people from submitting modreq's if they spam too much.

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] spamming

1 infraction
1. /warn [player] spamming

2 infractions
1. /mute [player] 2-10 spamming

3 infractions
1. /cban [player] spamming

4 infractions
1. /ban [player] spamming

Griefing
Griefing is probably the trickiest thing to know what to do with, and is only applicable in Survival. If the owner of a house has reported a grief on their house that they personally own and a griefer shows up, please follow this protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

Note: if the griefer is still online, try to talk to them and figure things out. If you are able to make them promise not to grief again, then /warn them and you should be good to go. This means that if a griefer shows up in the logs, and they have a warn in their /infractions, then you can go ahead and ban them. Have them fix the damage OR roll it back and clear their inventory. They may have gotten some items from the grief, so try to get rid of those if you can.

Optional 0 infractions, only if griefer is still online (see note)
1. /warn [player] griefing
2. Make sure they fix the problem, or clear their inventory and roll it back

0 infractions
1. /cban [player] griefing

1 infraction
1. /ban [player] griefing

2 infractions
1. /pban [player] griefing


CAPS
You should never have to punish people for using caps, since the filter will de-capitalize any messages that contain too many capital letters.

If you see other regular members "warning" others for caps, gently remind them that staff take care of any discipline. If necessary, issue a warn for mini-modding.


Disrespect
We take disrespect very seriously. If you see any form of disrespect, or if a person is disagreeing in a violent way with a staff member, please follow the following protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] disrespect

1 infraction
1. /mute [player] 5-20 disrespect

2 infractions
1. /ban [player] disrespect


Bullying
If you see a player being bullied, either from one player or several, follow this series of actions.

Check the user’s /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] bullying

2 infractions

1. /ban [player] bullying


Mods
Mods are things like X-Raying, flying, speed, climbing vertical surfaces. These are treated as intentional rule breaks and the person using them should be removed from the server as soon as possible.

0 Infractions
1. /ban [player] mods

1 Infraction
1. /pban [player] mods

Racism
If you see people being racist, please follow the following protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] racism

1 infraction
1. /ban [player] racism


Nazi Symbols
Any form of nazi symbols will result in a ban.

0 infractions
1. /ban [player] nazi

1 infraction
1. /pban [player] nazi

Nude Skins / Buildings
If you see people with nude skins, warn them and tell them they have a few minutes to go change their skin to something appropriate. If they don't comply, then c-ban them.

If you see nude buildings, remove them and c-ban the person.

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

0 infractions
1. /warn [player] nudity

1 infraction
1. /cban [player] nudity

1 infraction
1. /ban [player] nudity


Abusing Exploits
You may see people abusing exploits occasionally or using disallowed mods. Although only Josh usually patches exploits, if you see someone using one, please follow the following protocol:

Check the user's /warnings, see if they have any infractions for similar reasons as this one

0 infractions
If they kept the exploit a secret: /cban [player] exploits
If they notified you of the secret but they used it a lot: /warn [player] exploits
If they told you about the exploit right away: no punishment

1 infraction
1. /ban [player] exploits


Mini-Modding

Mini-modding is something annoying and not really something you should ban for. Each time a person mini-mods, which means they try to correct another user's behavior and tell them to follow the rules (see below). There's a difference between a friendly tip and a constant, obsessive, and always-happening-even-though-staff-are-online-and-staff-know-what-to-do-and-that-person-doesn't.

Example situation:
Player A: SPAMSPAMSPAM
Player B: Don't spam or use caps
You: /warn [playerB] minimod

0+ infractions
1. /warn [player] minimod Page from Cobalt's Wiki. | cobalt-mc.com
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