Rules of engagement
The ‘Verse is a dangerous place, and not all players roaming it are our friends. Conflict can come in many forms, from a Pirate Syndicate setting their sights on our trade goods, a Mercenary Organization paid by our enemies to harass us, or a rabble of griefers who merely want to give us a bad day. However, it would be irresponsible for us to fall into a pattern of shooting anything that moves, and therefore it important to know how we should act when moving around the ‘Verse, as an individual or as a unit.
Overarching Engagement Policy
Vanguard is a lawful organization. As a member, you will not engage in unwarranted hostilities against another player. We will do our due diligence to properly identify friend and foe, to give unknown parties the benefit of the doubt, to encourage clear and open communications, to minimize accidental conflict, and to do our best to mediate situations, especially when misunderstandings lead to loss of ship or life.
Whenever we are participating in any action whereby a player accidentally stumbling upon us would be subject to termination, we will be sure to to make the operation public knowledge. As Marshall ZZGooch put it,
“We will communicate clearly and warn players off, but it's always best to stay clear."
Am I free to engage?
There are several clear reasons to go weapons free against a target.
Target is Engaging
If a target is firing on you or another Vanguard member, return fire and eliminate it immediately.
Target is a Known Hostile
If a target is a known hostile, you are free to engage. See below for information on known hostiles.
Target is in Violation of an Exclusion Rule
If a target refuses to comply with a publicly announced exclusion rule, you are free to engage. See below for information on some exclusion rule examples.
Order Given To Engage
If you are ordered to engage a target, it supersedes any other considerations.
A Known Hostile is any individual which you can freely engage without violating organizational policy. Here are some examples:
Members of organizations we are actively at war with
Individuals with active Vanguard Bounties on them
Vanguard Members running OpFor
Individuals on the KOS list
Lawful or Neutral NPCs who are not engaging you are not valid targets, unless we are running an operation that specifically calls for them to be destroyed.
Our operations will have different levels of Exclusion, determining response type and setting valid targets. Exclusion should be communicated regularly on public text channels in order to prevent unaware players from entering the exclusion volume, or else directed at individuals violating the exclusion rules with enough time to reasonably comply before engaging. Below are some common examples.
No combat vessels are allowed into an volume, defined in km from a point.
Example: When holding ATC, we allow Combat Escorts to approach up to 15km. Any combat ship closing further is to be engaged and destroyed immediately for non-compliance.
No vessels are allowed into an volume, defined in km from a point. Any contact within the volume should be engaged. Contacts fleeing the volume may be pursued, but pilots should break off and return to position once target has been chased off, unless ordered to continue pursuit.
Example: For Vanguard Trading Operations in 3.5, we will be operating in full exclusion mode around surface trade stations and our tradeships. Any vessel approaching within 20km of the point is in non-compliance and pilots are free to engage.
Exclusion zone access may be contingent on any number of rules, as defined in an operations Standard Operating Procedure.
The Final Caveat
At the end of the day, choosing to engage and destroy a target is a choice players need to make. The rules of engagement are a metric to check against to make that decision clearer. However, ultimately this is the call of an individual based on their assessment of risk.
Please remember that, whenever you engage a target, especially a player, you are accepting the responsibility for the consequences of that action, for better or worse. Use your best judgement, and remember each and every one of us represents Vanguard to the rest of the ‘verse.