Where should moderators draw the line on escaping vs OK timeout?

We get lots of reports of “Hey, the person escaped, please do something about that”. And we try. Escaping is strongly discouraged by the moderation team.

But it does raise a question: when is a timeout simply "I ran out of time thinking " and when is it
“they rudely walked away”?

What would be the right and proper line to draw?



For me I think when the user is down by 150 points and a group just died, it’s probably escaping… and when it’s a close game or a tough L&D read, it’s fair.

Obviously, that still leaves a lot of grey area :smiley:

I think it mostly comes down to, if they leave the game page (especially if it’s to go to another game) then it’s escaping but if they stay on the game until the end, even if its a long time without a move leading to a timeout, I wouldn’t call that escaping.


why draw a line?

its already a correspondence game. you know the deal before you decide to start a game. default tournament and ladder settings already give you 24 hours of thinking time per move, and if you still find that not enough, there is a pause and vacation button.

so, to me, ran out of time thinking and walked away is basically the same thing.

This question was inspired by his moderator duties, not his personal games.

We do not ban people for timing out corr games.
We do sometimes ban people for abandoning live / blitz games to time out, thus, a line is needed.

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sorry, i just automatically assumed all “time out” issue is related to correspondence game, as in the time out rule.

I dont mind people rage quitting (which is more realistic to me than escapers). I just do something else while the timer runs down.

Personally when I get to that feeling I just resign. End result is the same.


My thoughts exactly. Well said :wink:


Same for me.

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If you had an option when posting games to exclude likely escapers from accepting the challenge, and to not display their challenges when you’re looking for a game, this could somewhat address a couple of issues without even having to label someone an escaper.

Maybe their internet connection really is just that bad, and you’d prefer not to deal with it.

If someone found out that they had been labeled, especially if they perceived that it limited the site’s functionality, there is a good chance they create a new account.


An Ignore list would take care of this and wouldn’t require any Moderation action. The big issue with labeling people escapers is that Moderators have to determine this and to get involved. While this can be important for keeping a community as clean as possible, unless you are banning IP’s, new accounts allow anyone to just start over.

I think it’s too hard and too vague to try anything preventative. If it’s very muddy and hard to define properly, don’t do it. The military doesn’t take prisoners of war while in international waters for a reason.

The idea I agree with is to just look at the game itself, and if they time out after losing a group or something, then it’s pretty clear.

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I feel that the controls we have in place by responding to reports and proactively monitoring are pretty reasonable.

So the question is not “how can we prevent it”.

The question is "what is and is not actually OK?"

Definition: escaper: someone who leaves a game without finishing it properly, forcing their opponent to wait for the time out to end the game.

This means: either resign if you have definitely lost, or pass and promptly accept the correct score.

This would be all well and good if it wasn’t for blitz. In blitz, it’s common and fine to lose by timeout - a timesuji in blitz can be a winning move.

But wait, what about the actual moment that an opponent who has been having to think hard each move has their time run out? Surely this is OK…

… these are the questions moderator face when we get a report that says “Please deal with this escaper”, which happens a lot.

So the purpose of this thread for me was to find out what you all think about “when is it OK to have the time run out and when is it not”, to help calibrate moderation of this.



Just make it physically impossible to run to another game and don’t ban anyone for that.

there are plenty of people who play multiple ranked live games simultaneously and manage that balance fine without upsetting anyone, there is no need to restrict these people’s experience because other people


A lot of escaping is rage-quit, and the person simply goes offline, so prohibiting multiple games doesn’t help.

Also, prohibiting multiple games would make the impact of escaping worse, because you couldn’t start a new one while waiting for the escaped game to time out.

As I said, I’m really interested in “what constitutes escaping compared to a valid thinking timeout?” rather than other preventative measures at this point.

I’m aware it’s a grey line, and just looking for what range of opinion is out there.

It’s actually fascinating that the only opinions so far seem to be “I don’t really care if people escape my games”.

That is rather in contrast to the reports we get.

I might start requiring escaper-reporters to put their opinion here before handling their report :smiley: :smiley:

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come again :smiley:

Oh, you!? You’re just another moderator, your opinion doesn’t count :smiley: :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue:

(But did miss Mulsiphix’s endorsement of that, thanks).

If I may pick up that topic then: what about people using the App? Those people who always appear “grey” but play turns. You can’t tell if they left the page or not.

Also, if someone simply leaves their browser tab open but wanders off and does something else after you capture their dragon, with 15 minutes on the clock… is that OK?

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Well now you’re getting I to the “what if” dangerous territory. Realistically, what are the chances that someone would even do something like that, especially in a live game where 15 minutes really matters.

Again I’ll say that a valid time out doesn’t happen immediately after you lose a group, or play a move that makes reading out that you lose a group clear. This applies for corr and live.

That is the only time you can get a “community supported” direct positive measurement for a rage quit.

I don’t think it does any good to speculate on factors beyond our control. We don’t have pressure sensors in their chairs, nor eye movement trackers in their webcams… all we have access to is “do they have the tab open” and so that’s all we can consider, taking into account, of course, the possibility that they’re playing through the api and presenting no presence indicators at all.

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Hmm - this went on a different tangent than I was looking for.

Personally, I don’t think that presence-indicator-on is an excuse for timeout. That’s probably the main point to explore.

I put the point that a person can have presence indicator without being actually looking at the game as support for this position.

If I understand @Kaworu_Nagisa correctly, the point is that if you stop playing (present or not) after you lose a group (etc) then that is escaping whether or not you have the tab open.

but there is also the argmument of “we agreed to x time controls and I can use that as I please, including a long deep think in a tough spot” and since we already know there are reasons or situations why a user may not be able to interact with chat, we can’t rely simply on asking in game chat whether they’re still there.

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