Report verdicts should attempt to clarify their rulings

There have been many cases recently where I’ve read a player or staff report and the verdict has left me confused about the rules and why the verdict is being ruled as it is. I will go through a few examples:

The conversations in game between the staff member and the player were largely the player being accused of frontlining and being told that he can’t go outside of cades as CL, being in full combat gear was mentioned too. The given verdict only mentions being in combat gear being against the rules, however it used the word “even” which could possibly imply that there was more that the player did wrong that for some reason the staff is not specifying. So is leaving the cades as CL against the rules? Or would the player have been fine if they weren’t wearing combat gear? Was the staff member right to accuse the player of frontlining? Is firing a few bullets at a lurker to scare it off from attacking another player as CL against the rules? None of these questions were answered at all, despite the fact that they are pretty clearly questions that people want to know the answer to. Maybe the “PFC++” part was supposed to be the explanation? But that really doesn’t clarify anything to me at all because I don’t know what staff’s definition of “PFC++” is.

This report accused a player of purposely shooting them, and provided evidence of the player sprite clicking them, with the obvious implication that the sprite clicks are likely not accidental FF aimed at a xeno. The verdict didn’t actually address the evidence and gave some confusing reasoning, leaving me with questions. Does the staff think that the evidence was mistaken/false? Or do they agree that the player sprite clicked the accuser but thinks that it could have been accidental? Or does staff think that the sprite clicking could have been on purpose, but it was ok because “you’re in active combat when the entire cade line is firing”? The second sentence is even more baffling, is that implying that if they blocked off both plasteel cades, therefore fully locking the player out, with the clear intent solely to punish the player for disobeying orders would that have been ok? Are you allowed to purposely get people killed just to punish them for ignoring orders? Once again the verdict just leaves me confused.

This one I actually had to ask in staff-help for a rule clarification. For as long as I’ve been playing this game it’s been a super normal thing for xenos to guard corpses, so this new ruling is a significant ruling to introduce. Yet it was dropped in the most vague way imaginable. “Xenos only see corpses as corpses, and nothing more” was incredibly vague, it COULD be interpreted as “xenos are not aware that marines can revive corpses, even if they witness medics reviving corpses” but if that was the intent then it should have been worded that way. I’m glad we got a rule clarification after I asked but in my opinion I shouldn’t have had to ask in the first place, also the rule clarification itself still isn’t as clear as I would have wished but that’s a whole different topic I guess.

My problem with these is not the rulings that were given, but the way they were expressed and the lack of clarity.
The first example would have been fine if it said something like “The accusations of frontlining were untrue but you still broke the rules by being in full combat gear as CL. Going outside the cades to corporate dome would have been fine otherwise. No action will be taken against the staff because the note mentions being in full combat gear and is still valid”
The second example would have been fine with something like “The evidence is not enough to say that the player purposely shot you, they could have sprite clicked you on accident. If you are outside of cades during a fight it is too hard to prove whether someone shot you on purpose or accident” (I’ll be honest I’m not sure how to justify that last sentence but ideally the staff just explains what they mean in more detail)
The third example would have been fine with something like “Xenos are never aware that marines can revive corpses, and therefore cannot guard bodies unless a queen expresses intent to gib a corpse.” (although personally I still don’t understand why queen even has a gib ability if xenos just ‘see corpses as corpses’)

Those are just example justifications based on my best guess on what the staff’s intentions were, but obviously I cannot read the minds of staff so I’m not saying that those explanations specifically are what they should have said. Staff should justify it in whatever way makes sense to them.

It seems to me like staff when making verdicts only care about giving a correct verdict and do not care about the wording of the verdict and how clear it is to people reading it. So my request is that in future staff make an honest effort to explain their reasoning and make their rulings clear and understandable. It should not be that difficult to do as all they would have to do for the most part is explain their reasoning. They should be going over all the evidence and considering the rules and how to interpret them anyway, all I ask is that instead of keeping those thoughts to yourself you write down your thought process and reasoning for the verdict.


I think that staff should be more nuanced in their explanations as well.

To your example a better explanations would have been;

As CL you cannot.

A. Leave FOB, At all
a. You can hire and use X,Y,Z to recover equipment

B. Wear Combat Gear
b. You can and should only use equipment from your vendor. You are only permitted to use X,Y,Z as CL.

C. Whatever Else They wanted to imply


Decisions should be as clear as possible. If only to reduce the amount of BS in other places such as Discord.


Staff reports are not how or where you go to get clarification on rules. They are where someone files a report citing how they think staff went out of line and are seeking administrative action against that staff member. It is done publicly for transparency.

All three posts you linked are resolved by Soldier. Two of which are staff reports stating that they agree with the original action taken by the staff member being reported.

It’s one thing for staff reports to not be “where you go to get clarification on rules”. It’s another thing for verdicts to just be confusing and unclear, leaving me confused on what is allowed and what isn’t. Am I supposed to ask on discord in staff-help every single time a confusing verdict comes out just so I can understand what the staff actually means? I feel like that shouldn’t be necessary when instead staff could just explain their reasoning when giving a verdict

Also I should point out that there are plenty of report verdicts that are clear. I just gave three examples of ones that aren’t. So it’s clearly possible to give clear verdicts. If some reports can have clear verdicts why can’t they all? I don’t see the harm in just explaining your thought process.

I don’t see how my request would do any harm and I also don’t see how it would be much of an increase in work for staff, so why shouldn’t it be done?

Also is your last line accusing me of metagrudging Soldier here or something? I’m not sure why you’re bringing that up. If you really want me to I can try and dig for examples from other members of staff, these were just the recent examples that came to mind when I started writing this.

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All three report verdicts appear clear to me. Again, this is done for the sake of transparency. Verdicts made on these posts aren’t expected to be parsed by players so they can amend how they play or interpret the rules. You’re just expected to have read and understand the rules; or ultimately just to not break any rules.

You also are not an involved party in any of these reports. Nor is it necessary for you to be pinging staff to clarify your interpretation of something that doesn’t involve you. If you don’t understand the rules though, then yes you should seek clarification or just avoid doing anything that would risk breaking a rule you don’t fully understand.

Staff might consider altering rules or clarifying things to mitigate confusion and reports, but it’s ancillary to this.

Me mentioning Soldier resolving all the examples you linked is just fact. You don’t need to try and read between the lines any more than that. At most the take away should be a person at the top reviewed and made a decision on the matter, and you probably shouldn’t do the same thing that the player did else get in the same situation.

“Frontlining” is just a really bad term for how we approach shipside personnel and groundside deployments. Chasing or trying to get into fights with xenos is what you should not be doing, no matter where. If you are shipside personnel deployed (other than SO/XO/CO/honor guard I suppose) you should not be trying to get into fights and should be trying to get away and back to a safe area if you find yourself in a fight.


It’s not so much about the “rules” that are written on the rules page on the wiki but more about “rulings” since so many things are up to interpretation and can be ruled in different ways depending on how the staff wants to do it. It’s not a matter of understanding the rules, I need to know how staff interpret rules as they are the ones that enforce them.
To go back to the first example, no amount of understanding of the rules is going to allow me to know whether it’s ok to go outside of cades as a CL. My intuition would have told me that that was completely fine to do as long as you’re clearly not trying go be a PFC and hunt down xenos, if you’re just searching corporate dome one screen away from FOB for RP reasons my intuition would have told me that’s ok. But clearly my intuition is not in line with Soldiers. But that’s ok, I’m fine with staff having different interpretations of things. I just want to understand what that interpretation is. Because if were to go play CL and do the same thing the CL in that report did but WITHOUT the marine gear, I don’t know if that would be within the rules because it was not made clear. The verdict kind of implies that it would be ok as long as I don’t wear marine gear, but not in a clear enough way that I could feel confident doing that. I just feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to word it slightly differently such that the reasoning behind the verdict is clear.

But if you think that people aren’t supposed to understand staff rulings then I guess there’s not much else I can say, I just disagree and think it would be really nice if I could read a verdict and understand what the staff member’s thought process and reasoning was behind it. I guess I’ll just go ahelp everything in game to ask what I can do, which probably is more of a pain for staff to deal with but if that’s what you want then so be it.

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To go back to the first example, no amount of understanding of the rules is going to allow me to know whether it’s ok to go outside of cades as a CL.

The rules are outlined here: Rules - CM-SS13 Note that some sections are tabbed.
Clarifications to those rules are here: Rules Clarification - CM-SS13 (also linked to in above).

As far as a CL, you would find these to be relevant:

Rules → Human Roleplay Standards → Deployment:

All personnel deployed should be following their role requirements. A doctor would not deploy to fight Xenos on the front line, a Squad Medic would not only be healing themself, and a Squad Leader would not ignore the orders of command just to do their own thing.

Shipside Crew, where authorised to deploy, must remain in secure areas.

Rules Clarification → Gameplay Rulings:

What Can Non Combat Support Roles Do If They Deploy To The Area Of Operations?
They are restricted to the FOB, or a very secured area (multiple cades in all directions, such as a secondary FOB). MPs should only be doing control and can only go to the front lines in fresh pursuit. Techs should be helping to build a FOB or secured area. Doctors are restricted to FOB, secondary FOB, or medical APC. Doctors are not to be combat medics running into danger to pull wounded or dead marines out of combat.

You are expected to know the rules and any clarifications to the rules. It is not feasible to expect a player to go through each and every player report or staff report to see how staff interpret a rule. The rules should not be ambiguous to require you having to come here to figure that out. The whole purpose of a staff report is to handle situations where staff perform some administration that is not in line with the rules. You’re more than welcome to view these reports and see what verdicts get made, but ultimately everyone - staff and players - are following those rules linked above.

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Frontlining denotes a very specific thing.

Not being at the Frontline makes me think its okay, which apparently its not. Shooting at a xeno that is attacking a marine is not allowed. If he had stayed inside the cade would he have been fine to shoot at it?

Shouldnt be wearing armor is a specific thing. Can CLs no longer wear armor?

Arbitrary statements and rulings made during reports or whatever provide justifications and background for future rule enforcement.

I do agree, nobody can be expected to sort through the multitude of rukings made in these reports but they are used multiple times to justify admin enforcement of the rules. Its not as cut and dry as you imply.

If it was Rule Clarifications wouldnt be a thing.

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The verdict for that case was:

And you’ve just seen what rules I think apply to this situation. It’s not that wearing armor is the rule break. Ultimately them leaving the secure area is the rule break. However, the requisitions form where they request a full set of armor, a primary weapon with attachments, and a secondary weapon suggests they had no intention to stay within the fob.

Had they stayed in the fob with all that gear on them, they probably wouldn’t even been noticed. It’s still out of character to be that geared up as a civilian, but the rule break was that they left the secure area.

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In hindsight I think I do partially agree with Drulikar’s points now but I still think it would be nice if things were worded more clearly. I think what I’m taking from this is that I should just expect staff to say dumb shit and ignore what they say and just focus on whether or not the report is denied or accepted and then try to reverse engineer a possible justification from the rules or rule clarification pages myself. I felt more confused than I should have because I was taking staff’s statements too seriously when clearly they are not supposed to be taken seriously.

However I will say in cases like the third example it genuinely is an issue because as far as I’m aware until the moment I asked about it in staff-help and got a rule clarification there was absolutely zero reason to believe xenos couldn’t guard corpses and it was an incredibly common thing that many xenos had been doing for a long time. If you can find where in the rules this was stated before then that would be cool because I can’t find it. Based on the reaction in the discord and forums at the time clearly I wasn’t the only one who found this new ruling surprising either.

I’m guessing the explanation behind the second one is simply what I suggested earlier which is that even if someone sprite click shoots it could still just be them having abysmal aim so it cannot be punished.

Also I have a question, are rulings made in reports never taken as any kind of precedent for future rule enforcement then? So something could be ruled one way in one case and then in an exact same case in future it could be ruled another way because prior precedent doesn’t matter?

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The take away from what I explained should not be that staff say random things. I don’t know where you are getting this interpretation from anything that I have said. I keep reiterating this, but the purpose of a staff report is for a player to allege that someone in staff acted out of line. From the staff reports pinned rules:

The verdict that Soldier made on that post was addressed to OtherHuman (the person who made the report in the first place). In addition to denying the request for staff action to be taken against LynxSolstice after review, Soldier also reiterated that they played as a CL and as such should not think of the role as PFC+ bringing in full combat gear. Why? Because its out of character for the role, and that mindset is what got them into this situation in the first place where they found themselves leaving the fob and shooting at someone ambushed by a xeno because they wanted combat action and were geared up for combat action.

The relevant rules to this are:

Rule 6. No Metagaming or Metacommunication

Rules Clarification → Gameplay Rulings:

Can I guard a dead human to make sure they go into permanent death?
No, this is akin to walling off dead bodies, which is still forbidden. If a human is dead, they’re dead. You can only guard a body if a queen makes their intent to gib the body known.

The exception to this is if there’s an intent to gib, but there wasn’t. It also a fairly recent clarification, so many people may not agree or even known about it - and no one will know about it unless its enforced. In this case it was enforced, and the verdict:

The second topic you linked is a player report. Think of these like ahelps performed outside of game - its much easier to provide additional evidence this way or to handle situations where the issue doesn’t get resolved in round. They allege that rules 4 and possibly 10 for No Griefing and Lethal Force respectively. But after review Solider closed the issue and stated:

So that’s that. Its not your job to second guess the decisions of staff - especially those you aren’t an involved party for. The issue was brought up, reviewed, and handled. I will reiterate again, reviewing verdicts on reports is not the place to be looking to see what the rules are and how you should play.

I’ve stated previously:

I would think the entire existence of Rules Clarification suggests that yes we try to clarify any rules that players don’t fully understand or are ignoring. It doesn’t really matter how things used to be ruled vs how they are ruled now. The rules are what they are now. You break a rule today, the rules that existed today then apply to that situation. They aren’t written in stone and will change as needed.

Just like I keep reiterating, the place to determine how you should play is in the Rules and Rules Clarifications. Not a conglomerate of decisions made in reports.

Did you even read the CL report? The guy didnt chase the xeno. They just shood them away by shooting it a few times outside the FOB with the combat gear they had.

Like do you even think the guy had full intent or intent to frontline considering that they actually asked for permission to the CO and actually made a paper requisition log asking for combat gear? (which staff can see when you write papers)

If i was the CL i would’ve just went to delta prep and asked for a gun as a then frontlined. That way the staff can’t trace me if no one ahelps.

He literally got punished for helping another person not die from an APPROVED combat gear for the CO.

Also christ. I’ve lost fucking count of MPs and CMPs always asking me to bring armor as a doctor. Meanwhile the CL cant have a combat gear? Its so confusing. Are we allowed to bring combat gear or not?

Check the date for that rule clarification about guarding dead bodies. It did not exist at the time that the report was made, the rule clarification was made after I asked about it in staff-help because the verdict made zero sense without a rule clarification. I already explained that so I don’t know why you ignored it.

I’m not gonna bother arguing against the rest of what you said, I just think that what staff has said in these reports is not clear, and I’ve already made my case as well as I can for that. As you have shown, if you ignore what the staff say and instead just focus on the rules/rule clarifications then most of the time you can figure out why it was ruled a certain way. It becomes confusing if you focus on what the staff say in the report, at least in my opinion. If you disagree then fair enough I guess. But even that doesn’t apply to the third example because that ruling had no real justification in the rules or rule clarification until AFTER the report was made and I asked about it in staff-help, and since the verdict didn’t explain the logic behind why it was ruled that way there was no real way at the time to have any idea why that was ruled that way.

The CL is literally some paper-pusher, would you just deploy to a warzone in full combat gear as some office job and fight off really big and dangerous aliens with an assault rifle in real life?

Then you have a prime example answering your earlier question where it was deemed necessary to clarify: