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Administration Manual

Date added: 04 March 2012 - 04:30 AM
Date updated: 11 December 2014 - 04:13 AM

Administration Handbook


Important policies

Always be courteous while on duty or dueling, and interact with players in a polite manner, without compromising your authority or breaking any rules.
Never act as administrator or judge in your own duels.
Do not kick, ban or unban people without valid reasons and evidence, even worse if it's to benefit you or your friends. Doing so is power abuse.
Power abuse or breaking the policies listed in this document will result in a demotion and a possible ban depending on the severity of the abuse.
When banning/giving warnings, always provide screenshots in the ban/warning notes.
Don't give out unnecessary information (e.g. the administrator's name, screenshots submitted for proof) about bans and warnings to any user. For boosting bans, don't mention the details of the ban reason.
Never overturn bans from an administrator in a higher/equal position, unless it's asked by that administrator or an administrator of higher position (in which case, add a note about it).
Always answer the top call from the list, as those users have been waiting longer, unless an admin is waiting, in which case you may go to their call first if you choose to do so, so that they have more time to go on duty. Calls are answered by double clicking them on the list. (Call type: Caller | Opponent)
If someone PMs you asking for help on their duel, tell them to use the Call Admin button and to wait for their turn. If they already used it, tell them that they are already on the assistance queue and that help will be there soon. The exception to this is if a player has an issue with an Unrated duel where the outcome is significant, such as a duel for a war or a tournament. In this case you may go to their duel if time allows for that, but any ruling issue should be handled via PM, so the player can simply screenshot it.
If someone PMs you and tells you that his opponent abuses the Call Admin button in an attempt to prevent him from calling an admin himself and stall the duel, it is the only time that you are allowed to skip the call list and answer that guy's Admin Call. That call will never reach the top of the list by normal means so you have to skip to it.
If someone PMs you asking for a ruling you should answer it as long as the question is clear, as this can prevent an unnecessary admin call. You are not obligated to respond to PMs that are unclear or don't get to the point.
If someone PMs you asking a question about what would happen in a certain situation or you enter an Admin Call and you come across such a question you should not answer it, since it would be considered "coaching" on your end. Answering a question worded like "Can I do this?" is fine but answering a question like "What would happen if I do this?" is not and should be avoided by all admins.
Do not stay in Admin mode if you are not actively answering calls.
Do not watch duels in Admin mode if you haven't been called to them, even if the call count is 0, since users are unaware of the current call count. Instead moderate the Duel Room and Public Chat until the call count rises again. If you are watching a duel, and you are not in admin mode, and you see something that requires admin attention, you can step in on admin mode. If the players call for an admin you cannot skip the list for them, so you should not step in on admin mode.
What you say and how you act matters, even when you are not in admin mode. Just because you would not be warned/banned for something does not mean that you would not be demoted for that same thing.

Account security

Always take the following security measures:
Your DN password should be at least 12 characters long.
It must contain numbers or other characters besides lowercase letters.
Avoid using words that can be found in a dictionary.
Avoid using the same password you use on other sites.
Always log off or lock your computer if you have to go away.
Never allow other people on your account.

Don't let anyone besides you access your account. As any other user, you will be responsible for what other people might do with your account. For security reasons the password reset function is disabled for administrators.


Forum accounts

By participating in the forum, you will be able to view and discuss ban appeals submitted by members, access staff-only sections for Dueling Network administration discussion, and keep up with Dueling Network development and upcoming events. To get your in-game administrator status, log into the forum with your Dueling Network account and contact The Detonator, TamA, Reaper of the Cards, SavrCosmicFighter, or AntiTcb.


Call Solving Manual


Warnings

Verbal warnings:
These are given in the game chat during the call or via PM. Verbal warnings aren't added via admin panel.
Official warnings:
These are an upgrade to verbal warnings. Official warnings are always added via admin panel with the warn reason. When giving an official warning, look at the ban history of the player. If this has been a continuous problem, it is appropriate to award a ban according to the Rules & Punishments table. Be sure to always add screenshots of the misbehavior in the ban/warn notes (e.g. "Cheating and trolling: http://i.imgur.com/OzeNu.jpg").
Upgrading warnings:
Warnings for repeated offenses should only be upgraded to losses/bans when absolutely necessary (generally when the exact same infraction is repeated in obvious disregard for the rules), otherwise a second warning should be given. Warnings can only be upgraded in strict accordance with the Rules & Punishments table.

AFK (Away From Keyboard)

If a player has been unresponsive for less than 6 minutes, give them 30 seconds to continue with the game or otherwise receive a loss.
If a player has been unresponsive for 6 minutes or more, give that player a loss. No waiting time is needed. It doesn't matter if that player returns.
A player has been unresponsive and said "bye noob", "have fun waiting", etc. in the duel chat, or is in a game position that you see they cannot reasonably recover from without losing the duel, or is AFK longer than 20 minutes, yet still hasn't quit (in this case it's obvious they are deliberately AFK because otherwise they would have timed out). This is a malicious AFK offense. Give a loss and ban accordingly.
If both players are unresponsive when you arrive in the duel, let the players know to PM you if they get back, then leave. If there is an obvious Cheating or Malicious AFK issue present, take care of it before leaving.

Make sure to check if it is a Single or Match when giving a loss for AFK by expanding the Loss dropdown menu and to award a Match Loss for Matches. If you accidentally award a Game Loss for AFK during a Match, you must kick the player before the duel can end.


Glitch

Ask the players if they want the duel to be cancelled. If both players agree to cancel the duel, cancel it.
Glitches are incredibly rare. If you do not receive proof that a player is glitched, and that player will not continue, you will have to give that player a loss.

A useful method to ensure that the glitch is real is to ask the player without problems to summon a token, and then have the glitched player take a screenshot that shows the latest messages in the chat.


Harassment

Determine the type of harassment following the Rules & Punishments table.
If only 1 player is being offensive:
For a 1st offense of minor harassment in their record, give a warning to the offender (both verbal and via admin panel). The duel continues.
For major or severe harassment, award a game loss and ban for the appropriate time according to the strike count.
If both players are being offensive:
For minor harassment, give warnings to both players (both verbal and via admin panel). The duel continues.
For major or severe harassment, cancel the duel and ban the players for the appropriate time according to the strike count.

•  Please be very strict about the level of harassment. Soft words like "noob" or "silly" do not constitute a minor harassment offense by themselves.
•  If a player did not call for an admin when the harassment occurred and instead kept playing for awhile, let the duel conclude on its own before awarding the appropriate punishment, if any.


Repairable and Irreparable game states

It is very important to be able to determine who is at fault when dealing with a possible irreparable game state scenario in any type of admin calls. Whether or not a Game State can be repaired can mean the difference between a verbal warning and a game loss.
Irreparable game states
If an irreparable game state issue is found during a call, it is appropriate to give a game loss to the player most at fault.
  • A player returns a face-down monster to the Deck to Special Summon "Gladiator Beast Heraklinos" from the Extra Deck, without revealing the set cards to the opponent and shuffles the Deck. There is no way to tell if the face-down card were Gladiator Beasts, so the action is irreparable. It is appropriate to give the player a Game Loss.
  • A player forgets to discard down to the legal hand limit at the end of their turn (this is a mandatory game mechanic). The hand is shuffled afterwards due to an effect. There is no way to know which cards the player had in his hand prior to drawing the card. This action is irreparable and it is appropriate to give the player a Game Loss.
  • A player illegally draws a card(s) from the top of the deck and then shuffles the hand. There is no way to know which card(s) was the last one drawn, so the game state cannot be repaired by returning it to the top of the deck, and it is thus appropriate to give the player a Game Loss.
If both players individually are at fault for separate infractions that would result in both players receiving a game loss, you may cancel the game to emulate a double game loss penalty. Do NOT cancel a game as a result of a Game-play Procedural Error.
  • Both players forget to discard down to the legal hand limit during the course of the duel.
  • Both players have an illegal Deck List.
  • Both players have committed Slow Play (Major).
Repairable game states
A game loss should never be given if the Game State can be repaired. If there is enough information to fix or rewind the Game State, the game should be repaired as best as possible and should continue.
  • A player shuffles the hand with the Deck, but revealed it to his opponent earlier in the turn and has not drawn or played any additional cards. Both players clearly remember the contents of the hand. It is appropriate for the player to restore the hand, reshuffle the Deck, and continue dueling with a warning.
  • Neither player has been keeping track of Life Points properly and there is a disagreement about the totals. The players, with your help, should reconstruct the game from the cards that have been played, and either reach an agreement or accept your decision on the totals. Both players should receive a warning continue dueling.
  • A player accidentally draws when not allowed to. The drawn card is revealed to the opponent by placing it on the field or discarding it to the Graveyard, and then it is returned to the top of the deck without shuffling. The player's deck order is restored, and the player continues the duel with a warning.
  • A player shuffles the deck without the allowance of any effect to do. The order of the deck is still randomized, so the player receives a warning and continues the duel. NOTE: Continuously shuffling one's deck without any reason is considered Spam/Cheating and should be punished accordingly.
  • A player mills cards from the top of the deck to the Graveyard when not allowed to do so. The cards are returned to the deck in the order they were milled, the deck is not shuffled, and the duel is continued. It is appropriate to give the player a warning.
  • A player accidentally draws a card when not allowed to do so. The player then puts the correct card back into their deck and shuffles their deck without knowing the appropriate procedure for repairing game states with accidentally drawn cards. Even though the deck was shuffled, the player receives a warning and the duel continues. If the player does this again, the player receives a Game Loss.
  • A player accidentally draws a card when not allowed to do so. The player then puts it to the bottom of the deck by accident. The player should view his deck, screenshot the part of it that shows the last card in it (scroll all the way down and screenshot the part that includes the card to the bottom, far right) and then reveal that screenshot to his opponent. This screenshot should be unobstructed by any chat/users windows and unedited. Then the player takes that card out of his deck and then puts it to the top of the deck and resumes play with a warning.
Accepted game states
Sometimes procedural errors occur that cannot be repaired and are not significant to the overall outcome of the duel, such as missing a mandatory effect. In this case both players receive a warning for failing to maintain the game state, and play continues.
  • A player forgets to add a card to their hand banished by the effect of "Gold Sarcophagus," and does not realize this until several turns later. The card stays banished, both players receive a warning, and the duel continues.
  • A player forgets to add a card from their deck to their hand with the effect of "Sangan," and does not realize this in time to go back to that moment. No card is added, both players receive a warning, and the duel continues.

Cheating (miss-clicks/misplays)

1. Upon entering the duel, ask both players to explain the situation separately.
2. If a player claims a miss-click, conduct an investigation to determine the card(s) that was supposedly played by accident and approach the miss-click logically:
3. If the action resulting of the miss-click is not legal, this IS a miss-click.
4. If the miss-clicked card had a cost and it was paid, this is NOT a miss-click.
5. If additional moves/plays were made between the supposed miss-click and taking it back (or noticing it) or a sufficient amount of time (according to the admin's best judgment) has passed between committing the action and noticing it, this is NOT a miss-click.
6. If the card does not have a cost and the activating player resolved the effect(s) of the card, this is NOT a miss-click.
7. If the card does not have a cost and affects both players or only the opponent, determine if either player resolved the effect(s) of the card. If it resolved, make a logical decision. This can be tricky and depending on the situation you will need to decide this for yourself. Most likely it will not be a miss-click.
If it was a miss-click, the card returns to the position it was in before the miss-click occurred. The game continues.
If it was not a miss-click, the game continues.
If a player refuses to continue and follow the instructions, tell them that they have 30 seconds to follow your instructions or otherwise receive a loss.

Cheating (altering the game state)

1. Upon entering the duel, ask both players to explain the situation separately.
2. Make a decision based on the available evidence and current game state. Do not change your decision. Give the turn player 30 seconds to continue with your decision before awarding a game loss. If an appeal is requested, please see the appeal section at the end of this handbook.

Rulings

1. Briefly explain the rulings that are easily answerable. Do not sit there trying to make sure the player fully understands all of the involved concepts in their entirety, a brief explanation is all that is needed.
2. If you have doubts in the ruling, quickly check sources like Wikia, Pojo or the DN forums to clear any doubts (it's best to use Google to get results faster, e.g.: effect veiler lightsworn monster).
3. If a player does not agree with your ruling, they are required to show YOU proof or explain with details. Do not search for proof to prove them wrong on trivial issues.
If proof is not provided:
Tell that player that they have 30 seconds to proceed according to your correct ruling.
If that player continues dueling, the problem is solved and you can leave. Otherwise, give that player a loss and an official warning.
If proof is provided:
PLEASE REVIEW THE PROOF GIVEN. It is possible that you are wrong, so please keep an open mind. Players can appeal your ruling with the proof they provide.
After reviewing the proof, make a decision and inform the players to continue according to it.
If a player refuses to continue, go to A-1 below.

Handling appeals

Scenario: During a call, a player wants to appeal a ruling or other decision to a higher judge, or have a second opinion if no senior or head administrators are online (In this case, if the second opinion is not the same as the first, a third should be sought. Otherwise, the second opinion is final.).
A. You are absolutely, positively sure you're correct about your decision regarding the issue at hand.
1. If it is a ruling issue, give a detailed explanation of the ruling issue, along with any related links if possible. If it is regarding some other decision you are making, carefully explain your reasoning.
2. If the issue is about a very basic ruling, game mechanic, or other simple procedure, and they still want to appeal after an explanation, you can politely deny the appeal and tell them to please continue with the game. Be careful when denying appeals. You WILL be held responsible if you are incorrect and deny an appeal, and it may result in loss of admin privileges. If it's not a chance you're willing to take, do not deny the appeal.
3. If a player refuses to continue, tell them that they have 30 seconds to proceed as ordered or prove you wrong with proper evidence or reasoning.
4. If after the warning that player continues dueling, the problem is solved and you can leave. Otherwise, give that player a loss and an official warning.
B. You're not totally sure about the ruling issue at hand.
1. Quickly check sources like Wikia, Pojo or the DN forums to clear any doubts (it's best to use Google to get results faster, e.g.: effect veiler lightsworn monster).
2. Go to step A-1 above if your research comes through, otherwise proceed to C.
C. The ruling issue is overly complex, correct proof is given for their claim, or you can't find a solution to it.
Accept the appeal and get in contact with another administrator (preferably a senior or head admin) to get a second opinion. If possible, ask them to get in the duel you're in (this should always be done if an appeal is to be processed properly).

Keep in mind that nobody is perfect, so always pay attention to any reasonable explanations that a player may give to support their side, as they might be right.


Handling "play restrictions" on rated duels

Scenario
1. Player A tells their opponent in a rated duel to play under certain illegal conditions, such as half Life Points. (Doing so is NOT allowed.)
2. Player B refuses to do so.
Procedure
If Player A refuses to continue and play by official rules, but Player B wants to finish the duel, inform Player A of the rules and kindly ask them to continue. If they refuse, tell him that they have 30 seconds to continue with the duel or otherwise be receive a loss.

Handling "TCG/OCG" restrictions on duels

Scenario
1. Player A joins a rated duel with the format restricted to TCG/OCG.
2. Player B enters that hosted duel with forbidden cards or disputes a TCG/OCG ruling.
Procedure
1. Tell Player B that he has 30 seconds to continue with the duel, or issue a game loss to Player B if it is a forbidden card issue and Player A called for an admin as soon as the first forbidden card was seen.
2. For ruling disputes, always abide by the TCG rules. Refusal to follow them after a 30 seconds lapsus results in a game loss.

Please note, new TCG sets of cards on Dueling Network are considered to be TCG legal upon their legality date in the US.

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