Server Licensing And Administration Policies

posted on September 6, 2023 9:21 pm

Welcome to the Offworld Industries Hosting PoliciesBelow is the Server Licensing Policies that detail what you should know and what is required to host a server for our games. Included further down is the Server Administration Policies with information on how to manage your server when it is up and running.

Server Licensing Policies

The license holder is responsible for how their community members and admins conduct themselves within the server and in other community media platforms. License holders need to ensure members are held accountable for their actions within the community and server as per the Code of Conduct (CoC).

All server owners are encouraged to join the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord for information and support. Please follow the instructions in the #getting-started channel to acquire the appropriate permissions on the server.

The license system is designed to allow players to easily find servers that:

  • Have a dedicated administration team
  • Host from reliable and adequately powerful server hardware
  • Promote teamwork and communication in their community and/or clan
  • Provide a positive environment for new players to learn the game and play with more experienced players

With this design in mind, the following clauses provide license holders with a framework for improving the gameplay experience of the average player. Please familiarize yourself with this section below as license holders will be upheld to the standards set forth here. If a violation or report has been submitted against your server and an Offworld representative has brought it to your attention, the license holder has up to 14 days to investigate and conclude the situation as it occurs. Should it be found that the license holder has not dealt with their members and administers actions appropriately within 14 days, they risk losing their license.

L1.1 – Developer Access: Licensed servers must have admin and debug access enabled for active Offworld developers and QA. Admin commands that affect gameplay will only be used in-game with permission from the online admins before being run. It is visible to in-game admins when an Offworld developer is joining the server.

L1.2 – Public Access: Licensed servers must remain publicly accessible at all times and cannot be locked or password-protected. Hiding a licensed server in any capacity will result in the server license(s) being revoked. Servers must also always be accessible by Offworld staff.

L1.3 – Exploitation: Intentional exploitation of game bugs or trying to crash and/or cause harm to another server by you, as the server owner, or by representatives of your community, may lead to your server license(s) being revoked.

L1.4 – Naming: Naming your server as an “official” Offworld Industries server is not allowed. Please do not use “official” in the name or in anything related to your server. Doing so may lead to your server license(s) being revoked.

L1.5 – Capacity: Servers of less than 80 slots will not be licensed and should remain in the Custom Server Browser. Servers over 100 slots will be rejected. When you apply, you must put in the number of slots you require.

L1.6 – Maintenance: We encourage you to restart your server everyday or as regularly as you can. This will help your server to perform smoothly.

L1.7 – Multiple Servers: All servers need to have a unique individual name for their community server. If you are increasing to have more than one server you must include numbers to define them (ex: Server Name #1 and Server Name #2). Servers are allowed to use similar words in their name as long as the whole name is not identical to others.

L1.8 – License Limitations: We allow communities to apply up to 4 licenses to maintain quality. However, should the community require additional licenses, justification will be required. Licenses are non-transferrable. If you start a new community, a new application must be submitted for licensing.

L1.9 – Server Owners: There can only be one main license holder per community; they’re classified as the server owner. Server owners do not have to be the same individual hosting/running the server. If we are unable to contact your server owner in any situation, your license(s) may be revoked. If you wish to transfer server ownership, you must notify Offworld and re-apply for licensing.

L1.10 – License Sales: We issue one license that is to be used for one server. For more than one server, you will need to apply for another license. License holders are not allowed to buy, sell or share licenses. Applying for licenses for another party will see the license revoked and being potentially barred from the licensing program. Communities must re-apply for licensing if ownership of the community changes.

L1.11 – Admins per Server: You need at least 10 admins per server per license. If you want to run more than one server, you will require another 10 additional admins per server to meet the requirements of having a license. (Ex: 3 servers require 30 admins total.) If you’re hosting for Beyond the Wire you only require 5 admins per server.

L1.12 – Moderation: Server admins may kick or ban players for Code of Conduct violations. Server admins may not kick or ban players without cause. Please consult the Code of Conduct as a general guideline for details on unacceptable behavior that warrants administrative action.

L1.13 – Applications: Licensing is not guaranteed nor is Offworld obligated to issue licenses. Offworld has the right to refuse any application for no reason or any given reason as well as place restrictions on licensing for communities. Applicants that apply rapidly under multiple different aliases may be barred from applying and all applications from the group to be rejected. Applying under a different group after being barred may see restrictions extended. If you wish to discuss your application you can do so by opening a ticket in the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord.

L1.14 – These Policies are Not Exhaustive: All of the policies listed above are subject to change. This is not a comprehensive list of policies. Offworld staff is free to act on players and reports even if the policy is not explicitly stated. It is the server owners and server admins responsibility to remain up to date on these listed policies and to maintain their servers per these guidelines.

Where do Licensed Servers Appear In-Game?

Licensed servers are shown in the primary Server Browser menu tab. Unlicensed servers will be shown on a second Custom Servers menu tab. The second tab shows the full list of available servers including those with custom rules and game mods.

Server Performance Requirements

Servers each require 8GB of RAM (~3000+ mHz recommended) to ensure smooth operation plus an additional 4GB per instance. All non-partner hosting applications must have hardware that is part of our approved list below. With newer hardware coming out, we are testing new hardware and the list may change but this list is what we know is suitable for 100 player matches in our games.

INTEL:

I7 6700K at 4.5GHz (80 Player Maximum), I7 7700K (80 Player Maximum), I7 7700K at 4.5GHz, I7 8086K, I7 8700K, I7 9700K, I7-10700, I7-10700K, I9 9900K, I9-10900K, I9-11900K, I9-12900K, i9-13700K, i9-13900K

XEON:

Intel Xeon W-1290P, E-2386G, E-2388G (5 GHz),

AMD:

Ryzen 5 3600 (80 Player Maximum), Ryzen 5 3600X (80 Player Maximum), Ryzen 5 5600X, Ryzen 7 2700X at 4.3GHz (80 Player Maximum), Ryzen 7 3700X, Ryzen 7 3800X, Ryzen 7 5700X, Ryzen 7 5700X3D, Ryzen 7 5800X, Ryzen 7 5800X3D, Ryzen 7 7700, Ryzen 7 7700X, Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Ryzen 9 3900X, Ryzen 9 5900X, Ryzen 9 5950X, Ryzen 9 7900, Ryzen 9 7900X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X, Ryzen 9 7950X3D, Ryzen 9 7950X,

For 100-Player Servers

If your server is not performing within the green health, we will reach out and we may need to revoke your license until you can upgrade, unless you want to reduce your server size to 80/90 players. You will still need 10 admins per server. (If you’re hosting for Beyond the Wire you only require 5 admins per server.)

What is Server Health?

Our server health system is displayed for each server by color. As a licensed server it will be your responsibility to stay in good server health which is above 15 TPS (ticks per second).

  • GREEN: Good Server Health (15+ TPS)
  • YELLOW: Average Server Health (<15 TPS)
  • RED: Poor Server Health (<10 TPS)

How can I Apply for a Server License?

If you rent a server instance (not a dedicated server) through an Offworld Hosting Partner, Please select the proper hoster when applying on the Server License Portal. If you rent a dedicated server or you own your server hardware, you may still apply for a license but ensure you do not pick a partner hoster when applying.

Below is a list of our Offworld Hosting Partners:

Licensed servers that use any of the above server providers must notify Offworld if they switch providers. For those who rent their hardware, moving your game server to lower performance hardware or hosting alongside too many other game servers will cause your server to perform badly and may lead to your license(s) being revoked.

Server instances may only be rented from the above mentioned Offworld Hosting Partners. Dedicated servers or self-hosted enclosures are also permitted (see the link below). Any server found to be a non-partner instance, VDS, VPS, VM, or Cloud server will have their license revoked; however, these server instance owners will be allowed to re-apply for licensing on approved hardware.

How are Licenses Delivered?

This license will be sent to the email you applied with. Please check your spam inbox. The license arrives in the form of an ID and key which needs to be added to the server’s config files. Please keep your key private and only share it with those you can confidently trust. Keys can be regenerated if believe it another user has access to the information. If you think your ID or key have been compromised, please contact a staff member on the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord.

Do I Ever Need to Re-Apply for a License?

There are a few cases where you should re-apply for a license.

  1. If you change server hosting providers.
  2. If you change server hardware.
  3. If you change community ownership (main license holder).
  4. If prompted by Offworld Industries to re-apply for a license.

Can a License be Revoked?

Yes. Licensed servers where a violation of the policies outlined in this document has occurred will have their license revoked. Violations include but are not limited to:

  • Lack of administrative presence.
  • Abuse of in-game administration powers.
  • Abuse/threatening behavior towards players.
  • Abuse/threatening behavior towards player appeals or other community members.
  • Selling/sharing of licenses to other communities.
  • Promoting poor in-game culture, contrary to our goals of teamwork and communication-oriented gameplay.
  • Facilitating an environment that is hostile to new players and/or other players in the community.
  • Intentional exploitation of game bugs or trying to crash and/or cause harm to another server by you, the server owner, or by representatives of your community.

Once we have issued a server license, we will work with the servers owners involved in a violation report before revoking said license. In the event that we consider revoking a license, the circumstances will be analyzed carefully and on a case-by-case basis – the server owner will be notified via the email they applied with on their server license application. In cases of a gross violation such as falsifying player counts or edge cache ping spoofing, we will revoke the license outright and applicants will be barred from the server licensing system.

I Did Not Receive a Server License, What Can I Do?

If you do not receive a server license, you can still host a server in the custom browser. Work on building a dedicated, quality admin team and growing your community, then apply again when you are confident you have made progress. We will always be open to revisiting an application.

What Happens if My Server is Reported?

When a server has a violation report made against it, the report will be investigated by the licensing manager. If it is determined that Offworld needs to take action, the server owner will be contacted. The discussions will be recorded and placed on file. This process proceeds through the following steps.

  1. Report is received and determined to be valid or invalid.
  2. If the report is valid, the server owner is contacted regarding the report information.
  3. The server owner supplies an explanation for the report information, after which the report is again determined to be valid or invalid based on the explanation provided.
  4. If the report remains valid, a warning is issued or the server owner’s license(s) are revoked.

The above workflow may be adjusted on a case-by-case basis. All investigations will be taken to completion of this workflow. Depending on the severity of the situation, a warning may be bypassed leading to one or all relevant server licenses being revoked as well as the server owner(s) being barred from the licensing program. We will not disclose what actions Offworld takes in response to violation reports to the reporter. It is important to note that we do not want any server owner to lose their server license(s) and will make efforts to prevent this outcome.

Can a Revoked License be Appealed?

If your license was revoked or you find yourself part of a community barred from licensing. An appeal may be conducted in the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord and we may revisit your eligibility in our licensing program. We suggest you get reacquainted with our policies and guidelines before you appeal.

To begin the appeal process, server owners can open a ticket using the #create-ticket channel in the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord. When conducting an appeal, an Offworld team member will ask for your email address, the six-digit ID of the revoked server license(s), and in some cases all the IDs of any server licenses you have previously held. You will be given the reasoning behind your revoked server license and be asked to present your explanation. If your appeal is approved, the team member will guide you through this policy document as well as how to re-apply for our server licensing program. Conditions may be applied to your community regarding server ownership and future server licensing. Appeals do not guarantee relicensing and, depending on circumstance, appeals may be denied outright. Further policy infractions after a successful appeal will yield stronger consequences and may lead to being barred from the server licensing program.

Server Administration Policies

By becoming a server owner, you are agreeing to the Code of Conduct (CoC) which underpins the server administration policies below. The CoC provides server owners and their server admins guidance and support in the operation of their servers.

The following policies and the CoC must be adhered to by server admins on licensed servers as a condition of holding a server license. Server owners and admins are also encouraged to join the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord for information and support. Please follow the instructions in the #getting-started channel to acquire appropriate permissions on the server.

Section 1: Server Admins

A1.1 – Culture: Server admins should make an effort to promote a culture of teamwork and communication through their actions on the server and through the creation of server rules which do likewise.

A1.2 – Mediation: Server admins should encourage a fair, friendly and sportsmanlike atmosphere when mediating interactions between players.

A1.3 – Staffing: Licensed servers must have enough server admins to properly run the server and maintain the integrity of the community and the server itself. We require 10 server admins per server (ex: 3 servers will require a total of 30 server admins). Server admins need to be present the vast majority of the time during populated hours. Failing to adhere to this will result in a revoked license.

A1.4 – Staff Behavior: All server owners and server admins should ensure that they and their communities are conducting themselves in a reasonable and respectful manner. Server owners and/or server admins will be acted on accordingly for any content or behavior that violates the CoC in their server, server name, description, broadcast, chat/text, kick/ban reason, voice transmission, or in bias/discrimination to these points through their actions.

A1.5 – Experience-Based Servers: Server admins are allowed to set a desired style and level of gameplay on their servers by stating it in the server name, server rules, and Message of the Day. On servers named “New Player Friendly”, admins are allowed to take measures to ensure a positive environment and gameplay experience for new players. Subsequent servers can be named specifically “Experienced / Veteran” (We advise all servers to properly tag their servers with the appropriate experience tags in addition to changing the name of their server.). Definition of required skill level is up to the server admin’s discretion, stemming from server rules and guidelines. In order to maintain a server’s established rules, server admins are allowed to kick and/or ban players that violate the CoC (see A1.9 below).

A1.6 – Microphones: Server admins may not impose server-wide rules requiring microphones, provided players are willing to use text chat instead. Exceptions to this policy include it is acceptable for individual squad leaders to require their squad to use microphones and it is acceptable for a server to require squad leaders to have a microphone.

A1.7 – Locked Squads: Server admins are allowed to enforce a server-wide rule disallowing locked squads. If this rule is used, it should be clearly displayed in the server rules and players must be warned for violating this rule before any further action is taken against them.

A1.8 – Languages: Server admins may select or tag up to two common languages for their specific server if they choose to, though it is not required. This requires the players on each individual server to at least understand the selected languages of the server to be able to effectively communicate with their squad/team. Servers with selected languages should be included in the server name.

A1.9 – Server Kicks and Bans: Server admins are empowered to take action per the CoC while adhering to the administration policies outlined in this document. Players who notify servers of their intent to report a server or appeal a server ban to Offworld is not a reasonable cause for banning said players. Sufficient reasoning and/or evidence needs to be provided or be made accessible when dealing with bulk or blanket bans. If no reasoning and/or evidence is provided, Offworld may request the ban to be lifted. Ban reasoning and/or evidence may only be presented by members of that server’s staff. For the reference of server owners and server admins, a public registry of server bans can be found at Community Ban List (please note, this website is not affiliated with Offworld Industries nor its properties).

A1.10 – Squad Kicks: Squad leaders are free to kick squad members for any reason including for what the squad leader may perceive as “ineffective tactics”. Squad member kicks must be executed respectfully and must not circumvent/violate server rules nor breach the CoC.

A1.11 – Staff Presence: Server admins need to be present the majority of the time during populated hours to enforce server rules (see 1.3 above) for the purpose of maintaining high-quality gameplay and good teamwork for the benefit of all players. Server admins retain the right to act accordingly in response to disruptive behavior within the confines of the server administration policies outlined in this document. We understand individual server admins cannot be available 24/7 and will take that into consideration when reviewing reports on servers.

A1.12 – Server Rule Equality: Server admins are not allowed to impose rules that are not equal to everyone on the server. For instance, server admins may not give asset priority to themselves, whitelisted players, or specific clans in such a way that would deny access to these assets to other players.

Section 2: Server Policies

A2.1 – Server Rules: Server rules should be widely available to players in-game to be aware of.

A2.2 – Vehicle Claiming: Licensed servers have the option to disable vehicle claiming on their servers. This is to be used at the discretion of the server admins and only when server admins are present to ensure fair and balanced gameplay.

A2.3 – Server Changes: Server owners must notify Offworld and re-apply for licensing when they change server providers, change hardware, or change ownership. They must also notify Offworld if they wish to no longer continue to host the server.

A2.4 – Inaccessibility: Licensed servers that have been offline for longer than a week will have their server license disabled. The server owner will need to reapply for a server license if/when the server is brought back online. Servers that are intentionally hidden in searches or are otherwise inaccessible to Offworld staff will be deemed offline and have their server license revoked.

A2.5 – Game Mods: Licensed servers are allowed to run modded game modes. At times, this may affect the performance on the server. License holders and their server admin teams need to ensure the performance of their server meets the standards for a server license. This may mean the removal of the modded game mode. However, should the server continue not to perform to the standard that is required, the server license may be revoked.

A2.6 – Player Count Manipulation: Using bots, “fake” clients, or remote access game instances with the intent of seeding or boosting player counts in any capacity is not permitted. Servers found doing so will have their server license revoked and the server owner will be subsequently barred from the server licensing program. Bots that do not boost player counts are allowed during seeding phases as long as accurate player counts are shared on the Server Browser. Jensen’s Range (the training map) is allowed to be used during the seeding phase only. Offworld may use its best judgment to determine when a server is affecting its player count using “fake” players.

A2.7 – Server Information Manipulation: In addition to “fake” clients, bots, or remote access game instances, licensed servers found to be altering server information such as altering or spoofing ping to display a lower number in the Server Browser will have their server license revoked.

A2.8 – Donations: Server owners are allowed to accept monetary donations to fund their server on the condition that in-game and/or gameplay-affecting permissions are not provided in exchange for the contribution (ex: server admin permissions, unlimited team swaps, or altered gameplay rules). Donors may only be given reserved/whitelist permissions on a server for their contribution.

A2.9 – Server Ban Appeals: Licensed servers need to communicate how players should conduct themselves while on the server and how to appeal a ban via forum thread, server message, Discord, and/or community hubs. Players must be given a method to appeal their ban though whether the ban is successfully appealed is up to the server owner’s discretion. Players in breach of the CoC may be reported via the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord and admins will need to respond accordingly.

A2.10 – Policy Violation Reporting: Licensed servers must inform players how to report the server for violation of the policies outlined in this document and/or the CoC alongside their server rules. To report problems with a specific server, players can use the #server-complaints channel in the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord where they can complete the Admin/Server Abuse Report form.

This form requires the following information:

  1. Server Name
  2. Evidence (video, audio, images)
  3. Incident Date and Time
  4. Reporter’s Email Address, Name, and 64-bit Steam ID

Information provided in this form is shared only with Offworld staff. Please note, action taken in response to policy violation reports will not be disclosed to the reporter.

Section 3: Information 

I3.1 – Contact Offworld: For any server licensing problems or to appeal a revoked server license, join the Offworld Industries Hosting Discord, obtaining your server owner role, and open a ticket in #create-ticket. Alternatively, contact us via email at [email protected]. Please include your server ID and the email address you used to apply for your server license when sending us an email.

I3.2 – These Policies are Not Exhaustive: All of the policies listed above are subject to change. This is not a comprehensive list of policies. Offworld staff is free to act on servers, players and reports even if the policy is not explicitly stated. It is the server owners and server admins responsibility to remain up to date on these listed policies and to maintain their servers per these policies.

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