TERMS OF SERVICE

Thank you for choosing to play the game NightMist!

This is that long boring legal document that you always ignore in your hurry to get into the game.  Little do you know all the things to which you may have already agreed.  For example, the last time you said: 'I accept' to one of these, you might have granted to Microsoft prior refusal rights to any birthday presents you might receive now or in the future.

For that reason, I advise you to read THIS agreement in full and complete detail, preferably with a lawyer by your side.  And I mean a corporate contract lawyer, not one of those inexpensive honest ones.

First of all, this program is a GAME and you probably didn't even have to PAY for it.  As a result, I expect you to hold me blameless no matter how screwed up it is.  Of course, I don't expect it to deliver anything less than the most amazing experience of your entire life.  But contents may have settled during shipping and your bliss may vary.

The main reason for this TOS  is to point out that Nightmist-online.co.uk has the right to cut off your access to the multiplayer mode of operation of this game for any reason it likes, and no matter how much you whine about it, we don't have to let you play it any more.

Of course, we'd only do that if you turned out to be some sort of idiotic jerk who wasn't interested in playing the game itself but rather just delighted in making the experience unpleasant for everyone else.

We know that YOU aren't that sort of person, of course.  For example, if you were THAT sort of person you CERTAINLY wouldn't have read this far into this document, with its teensy little print.  Not saying that you're bad if you didn't read it, of course.  We've already covered the important bits, so you can stop reading any time now.  But we have to make it really long or it probably isn't legally binding (on you, that is).  I mean, why else are these things always so long?

Here are some examples of things we would just as soon that you did NOT do while playing the game (and by corollary are likely to bring repercussions upon you):

	Don't hack the game or servers.  I mean, really, how low can you go?  If we detect any memory editing of the game we will be very upset and probably shut down on you.
	Don't try to circumvent various security features in an attempt to cheat without its being noticed. 
	Don't use profanity .  If you simply MUST talk like a drunken sailor, then go some place where no one can hear you.  Better yet, don't swear at all! We will, on occasion, GAG you if we find you offensive enough while we're paying attention.  But don't assume that we will always be watching.  And no fair getting mad at Nightmist-online.co.uk if someone manages to say something horrible in your presence.
	Don't engage in racist, sexist, age-ist, class-ist, religio-ist or other negative karma conversation intended to cause discomfort and sadness in other human beings. (For your own sanity, we also suggest you try your best to not react to such attacks and simply ignore the idiot instead. Remember what they say about prank phone calls - no reaction is the best reaction.)
	Don't use profanity in your character name.  This will definitely get you banned eventually. And remember, I don't feel I need to discuss this sort of thing with you.  I expect you to already know right from wrong. Expect reasonable consequences for your actions - just like in real life, you have to take responsibility for your actions.
	Don't make an effort to spoof other people.  I mean, role-playing is one thing, but pretending to be another player is not acceptable.  Use your own best judgment as to whether or not you're just joking around, and so will we.

That's not too mean of us, is it?  I mean, isn't that really best for everyone? The above is not meant to be a complete list of unacceptable online behavior, but it covers the basic issues.   I mean: we reserve the right to evaluate your behavior and take what we feel is appropriate action in response.


THE GOLDEN RULE

When I was a kid, in addition to 'please' and 'thank you' being the MAGIC WORDS, we were also told to follow The Golden Rule.  Nowadays people seem to think this is some sort of subversive religious thing, but in this context all we really mean is: Play nice with each other.  In fact, it has been pointed out that we aren't really suggesting the golden rule because we ARE expecting you to want to be treated nicely.  If you, in fact, have some sort of weird self-esteem problems (which make you want to be abused), we don't want you using the golden rule as an excuse to abuse others.


ETIQUETTE

Text documents relating to online games often have a section about etiquette - as in how you are expected to behave.  Being a role-playing game that is not completely appropriate here. In any case, here are my observations based on countless hours sitting behind a secret duck blind observing the players in their natural habitat:

	DON'T SHOUT!  That is to say, don't type in all capital letters ALL THE TIME.  The game has an official shout feature, which makes sure your voice is seen .
	Some people like to stay in character all the time.  I can understand this, though I tend to just chat normally, myself.
	Don't be a level beggar.  These are people who don't really want to play the game; they just want to have a high level character. They are constantly typing stuff like: 'Please level me!'  They tend to get ignored, or punished.  There's nothing wrong with joining a hunting party and working as a team, but try to carry a little of your own weight.
	Be nice to new players. They need to have a good time so that I stand some chance of their donating $10 someday.
	Be VERY nice to children.  Once you figure out a little kid is around, be extra special nice. I shouldn't have to tell you this.  Children should be given the opportunity of living in an artificial dream world of happiness as long as possible.  Parents should sit by the side of their children whenever they use the Internet.


FOR YOUR PROTECTION

While the vast majority of players are excellent human beings like you, the occasional bad apple does sign on from time to time. (After all, how can they be expected to stay away from such a great game? They're only sub-human). Anyway, Nightmist-online.co.uk has provided you with a wide array of powerful social controls to let you tune your pleasure.  For example:

	KILL people whom you no longer wish to hear.
	Accompany your minor children at any time they use the Internet.  They'll appreciate the company.
	Don't give out personal information to strangers, whether over the Internet or not.

And we encourage you to set a positive example yourself.  Many players who at first glance appear to be the worthless dregs of our decaying society are, in fact, merely teenagers fed a constant diet of Marilyn Manson and simply need a calm hand and a caring voice to find a better path.  Failing that, the game allows you to kill them in many exciting ways.


WHAT'S A SNERT?

From time to time you might see people mention the word 'snert.'  While the deepest origins of the term appear lost in time, it was contributed to the Nightmist mythology by Edix.  Definitions vary, but basically it describes someone who diminishes the pleasure of the game for others. You don't want to be a snert, in language or in deed.  Most  administrators will banish you from the server if you engage in snertish behaviour.  (I call that: 'Getting Snertified.')

'Snert' is used instead of 'newbie' since we all start life as newbies, but we don't all start life as snerts.



KEEPING NIGHTMIST-ONLINE.CO.UK IN BUSINESS

Well, maybe if I stick this in here, people will take pity on me.  You're probably asking yourself: 'How can such a TERRIFIC game, written by so obviously a caring and wonderful human being, be FREE?'  If not, I invite you to ask yourself that question now.  I'll wait.

OK, well, the answer is um, well the jury is still out on that one (ask again in a year or two).  To extend the time before reading about our going-out-of-business auction (I'm keeping the chair), you might consider donating $10 to us.  This is really quite painless.  If you're the sort of person who simply can't stand to donate money without getting something physical back, you can spend a little more and buy a poster made by Edix.


MY APOLOGIES

My apologies if I have offended any corporate contract lawyers, idiotic jerks, teenagers, Marilyn Manson, Microsoft, decaying societies, people with weird self-esteem problems, snerts, or drunken sailors. It was not my intention to do so and any comments to the contrary were intended to be light-hearted, semi-humorous remarks.


IN CLOSING

I'm sorry if this TOS is not long enough to look properly legal and professional.  I'll try to add more to it over time.

All joking aside, I'm really pleased that you've decided to give my game a try and I hope you enjoy it.  I've met a lot of really nice people in multiplayer mode and I hope you'll be one more.

Have fun!

JLH and Pandilex

Special thanks to Edix for writing this.

www.nightmist-online.co.uk