Your friendly staff here. We'd like to let you know about the new site rules we've just whipped up. These are a modification of the old site rules to remove some outdated rules, add a few new ones (and some extra categories on old rules), and just generally reformat everything and make it easier to read, especially by organizing them in a better way that flows from the most important rules for users to see to those that are least-important.
For most of you, if you follow the cardinal rule of "don't be stupid," this won't mean much to you. It's meant to be more of a clarification, both for us as moderation and for you as users, so the rules are more readable and more up-to-date. There are some major caveats to that, though, which we should point out here. A few massively important changes have been made:
FIRST: Bumping. As you can see, bumping is no longer under a blanket ban, but instead has some common-sense regulations about when it should or shouldn't be employed. Since de facto bumping was used from time to time anyway under these circumstances, we thought it made sense to codify those exceptions.
SECOND: Spoilers. We're never going to remove something for spoilers, but as the new rule #11 points out:
This is just a courtesy regulation for new players. It's not a rule we're enforcing through warnings or bans, but it is absolutely something we'd like everyone to remain mindful of. Many of the mods here are of tremendous help to all varieties of players, including brand-new ones; insofar as it is possible, their experiences should be respected and protected by being mindful of what you're saying, and where you're saying it.
THIRD: Tipjars. This is the big one, and there's a lot of regulations on it, as we want to protect both our modders and users. But it's a huge change and a long time coming, so I'd like to talk about it in a bit more detail, and explain our rationale.
Our stance has always been, and will always be, that the sale of modifications (that is, taking money for making, releasing, supporting or troubleshooting a mod, as well as accepting money with any expectation of reciprocity, for either party) is strictly prohibited. It's not just because that's not the kind of community we want to be, it's also because we determine that this is strongly against the EULA for the games, and would ultimately be tremendously detrimental to the community in all respects: to modders, to users, and to the sites that support both. We will never permit this, ever.
With that said, many communities have recently become more tolerant of allowing modders to be voluntarily thanked for their content, and we think this is a positive trend. Most of those who mod the games don't do it with any expectation of reciprocation (and nor should they), but if they make something which truly improves a user's experience to the extent that the user wants to thank them for their contributions in a tangible way, we see no reason why they should be prevented from doing so. Most modders spend hours of their days doing their work, after all, and so long as the system is voluntary on both sides we don't see a reason why those modders who choose to shouldn't be able to state that they accept tips, and users who are interested shouldn't be able to provide them.
The full regulations for the tipjar system are in the second post of the rules thread, and we expect (and welcome!) a lot of feedback here. It's obviously a very new thing for DS, and while we think we've covered all the necessary bases there can always be more said, and if needed adaptations and additions to the current regulations. But I want to emphasize here finally that we aren't making this site-integrated. DS isn't taking money off the top, or handling these tips through its own integrated system, or making it mandatory. MODDERS choose if they want to use it, and where they want to advertise it (within the extremely strict bounds of the regulations; we don't want these links to be spammed). This is meant to be a system that modders have the greatest control over, so if you dislike it or think your mods shouldn't be the subject of any donation talk, you can make the decision to not participate without ever having the system shoved in your face. It's opt-in on both sides, by design.
Needless to say, we expect a lot of feedback here, and will be listening closely. But we hope that, on the whole, everyone thinks that these new rules are an improvement over the previous iteration. Thanks!