|Game problem commands|
The blackspot is a form of minor user policing on the oceans. In the event that another player simply becomes too disruptive to the enjoyment of the game for one or several pirates, and muting the offending pirate does not stop the disruption, a blackspot can be used. Once issued to a pirate, they are shunned and cannot communicate with anybody for one minute. However, if another blackspot is issued, the time they cannot communicate doubles with each subsequent blackspot up to sixty-four minutes. In the event of more blackspots, it remains at sixty-four minutes. Note that /officer, /fofficer and /royalty channels are still usable while a blackspot is active.
Issuing the blackspot cannot be done by just anyone, however. A blackspot can only be dealt by an officer (or above) in a reasonably well established crew (not in terms of fame, but simply membership numbers.) The crew must also have existed for around one month before any member of that crew can issue a blackspot. The function takes around 15 minutes to "recharge" before it can be used by that pirate again. Once a pirate has blackspotted another pirate, nobody in the sender's crew can blackspot the same pirate for a full day. This is largely to stop abuse of the feature, as otherwise pirates with a grudge against another could simply issue the function constantly, effectively griefing each other. Issuing a blackspot on a pirate who did not violate the Terms of Service is bannable, and may also result in the issuer's entire crew losing the ability to issue a blackspot.
The function is used by giving the command /blackspot, then following it with the name of the intended recipient, so it'd become /blackspot [NAME]. When the blackspot is issued, a record of the event is logged in the system, which an Ocean Master can refer to later. This allows them to pursue the matter further if required and helps to ensure that the function is not abused by those that can issue it.
A blackspot can be issued regardless of whether the two pirates involved are in the same scene or not.
- Blackspot is best used for occasions when someone is causing public disruption in chat. This might include people spamming or swearing. In general, it should only be used when requests to stop are ignored, but if the pirate in question is using particularly unpleasant language, it can be useful as a tool to silence them immediately. In the latter case, the blackspot should be followed with a complaint.
- Blackspots are best used for repeated offences (e.g. persistent swearing or repeated spamming).
- Blackspots should never be used in retaliation.
- Blackspots should not be used for problems involving trade requests, job offers, hearty requests or puzzle challenges. Use /mute or /dnd instead for these cases.
- Blackspots should be issued immediately after the offending chat takes place so that the blackspot log captures it. If the blackspot is issued too late, nothing will appear in the log and the Oceanmasters will assume that the issuer was misusing the blackspot.
- Blackspots should never be used solely to remove someone's greeter status.
- Blackspots should generally not be used for occasions when a player is just personally irritated by someone, or when a player is arguing with someone - only if it's a public disturbance. If someone is being rude to a player personally, but not causing a public disturbance, then that player can choose either to /mute them, or to /complain them if what they are saying merits it.
Originally, if a player who had not subscribed or bought doubloons with cash was dealt the black spot four times, they would be permanently banned from the game. This was removed in release 2007-09-04.