Situation 1: Player A checks his turn in the game with 12 hours left, but does not want to take his turn yet because his teammate has not answered his questions in game chat and because he plans to log in later that day to take his turn. After he logs off, his internet connection is disabled because of weather, and he contacts Player B by phone and tells him that he will not be able to take his own turn. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
Situation 2: Same situation as Situation 1, except Player A is unable to contact Player B and warn him. Player B later notices that Player A has 30 minutes left in his turn and concludes that Player A is probably going to miss his turn. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
Situation 3: Player A logs in with 2 hours left on several games and is too tired to play all of them. He notifies Player B that he does not intend to play all of them because he is going to sleep, and asks Player B to play the remaining turns for him. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
Situation 4: Same situation as Situation 3, except Player B is not marked as online and Player A does not expect him to be able to cover the turn. Nevertheless, he wall posts Player B just in case, to say that he is not going to play some of his turns because he is going to sleep. An hour later Player B logs on and sees the wall post. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
Situation 5: Same situation as Situation 4, except Player B is online and Player A expects that Player B will be able to take his turn for him, though he does not explicitly ask to have the turn covered. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
Situation 6: In the game, Player A has come upon a turn on a map that he finds very difficult to play. He believes that Player B is a more skilled player than he is, and although Player A has taken all of his turns in the game up to this point, he does not think he will be able to do it well and asks Player B to take his turn for him. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
Situation 7: Same situation as Situation 6, except that Player A logs on with only 10 minutes left in his turn and thinks he will need more time than that to correctly play the turn, whereas Player B could finish on time, with his superior experience and skill. Is it legitimate for Player B to take the turn for Player A?
The purpose of these questions is to perhaps get a conversation going regarding the clarification of these rules. I believe that if the staff implemented a clear rule, such as not being allowed to account sit except if the player has announced they are going on vacation, then many of these problems would vanish. On the other hand, clear and easy to understand rules are not always the best. So I would like some input, not only from the staff but also the community, regarding what the best way to handle these situations is. I hope that by the end of the discussion, we will have enough material to base a long-lasting policy on.
What I do not want is any flaming whatsoever. This is not intended to be a discussion about the KORT ruling or any active C&A case. I gave these cases purely as hypothetical situations because we will make much more efficient progress if we don't devolve into arguments about specific players and specific actions. Also, this is not a thread about banning account sitting in general. Account sitting is generally recognized to be acceptable when you are on vacation and I am fine with that, if it's what the community wants. The real intent here is to make sure that when you ask someone to sit your turn for you, that you don't have to worry about whether you'll be busted in a C&A case a year down the road, because once and for all we solidified the rules on the issue.
By the way: if you answered "no" to any of the above questions, consider whether Player B or Player A has violated the rules, if Player B does indeed take the turn for Player A.
In response to a request, here is the current FAQ entry regarding sitting:
FAQ wrote:Q: Can I let another player take a turn for me when I am away from the game?
A: You can, with the stipulation that the account babysitter is not your opponent in any current game. It is common courtesy to announce in game chat that another player will take your turn(s) during your absence. Babysitters should only do what is necessary to take the turn(s) and should not interact with the community, start or join new games (except for ongoing tournaments). Furthermore, you should only take another player's turn if they are in danger of missing a turn, not for the purpose of gaining a tactical advantage.
Here is the ruling from KA in the recent C&A case (emphasis mine):
king achilles wrote:A user or group of users who loosely share their accounts among one another to improve their score and gaming by means of strategically allowing others to take their turns for them at specific times, or allowing well versed and ranked users to essentially play select games on their account for them to boost their score and rank, is another facet of Account Sitting Abuse.
So far, the case has it's point to show us that there are players out there who loosely share their passwords with one another so that they can take care of each other's accounts. This practice is bordering in account sharing and influences the account owners to be less responsible of their games, since they already have this thinking that someone is going to save them from missing at least one turn or more.
For this case, at some point, josko.ri could/should have simply told the other players to stop relying on him to take turns for them. Account sitting is for a definite period of time and NOT for an indefinite period. You can't assign an account sitter to account sit for you for as long as his blood is running into his veins. Then you can now sleep soundly whenever or do other stuff because you know he is going to save you from missing a turn. If you are capable of taking your turn, then take it. Do not make someone be responsible for your own account or lean too much for his advise.
Should we be thankful when you are on vacation, and you are supposedly not available to be online at the time, but you still manage to take some turns while leaving other games for your sitter? Perhaps it just gives more complication as it becomes suspicious if you really are unavailable in the first place or if you just assigned someone to play some specific games for you.
We know that people share their passwords with others in case of emergency. Some may also be guilty of playing other people's turns even when not needed simply because they have free access to that account. How can this be controlled? We certainly do not want to discourage people not posting in the game chat if they are sitting for someone for fear of any possible issues regarding account sitting. Until a sitter feature is encoded, it would be impossible to control this practice and it mostly falls on you not to abuse your privileges or share your accounts with one another.
My interpretation of this ruling is that Situation 3, 4 and 5 would all be a violation of the rules if Player B did take the turn, and possibly Situation 2 as well.