Contract Basics

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Contracts are fancy user agreements that allow for very specific and detailed trade and transaction agreements to be made between users. Many users prefer the contract system due to the fact that it requires both users to read and agree to a more detailed agreement between the two. It allows for more complicated transactions than what may be able to be agreed upon in game through PMs. It makes the evidence that an agreement has been made much easier to attain and link to in the case of an issue arising.

Important Notes

  • Contracts are not a fail-safe nor do they guarantee that a trade will go through properly. They are a tool to assist in the creation of trade agreements, especially for complicated or long-term transactions. Users are still very much encouraged to do their background checks on the user for previous issues and trustworthiness.
  • It is still important that you collect evidence in game. Where possible, an additional agreement where users acknowledge that they are performing the transaction agreed to is encouraged, and should be screenshot for record. Furthermore, you should still take screenshots of any payments sent or received that are related to the contract.
  • It is very important that even with a contract, you are prudent with your evidence collection. Should something go wrong with the contract being carried out, the process of filing a complaint against the offending party will go smoother the more clear evidence you have. Any communications you have regarding the contract should be kept track of, especially in long-term contracts.

Basic Contracts

Creating a Contract Agreement

There are a few important questions that need to be answered before you start writing out your terms:

  • What general type of transaction is occurring? (ie. Buying server features, loans/lending, town transfers, etc.)
  • What is being traded/what are the parts of the agreement that each side needs to uphold?
  • What is the timeframe in which this trade will occur?
  • What are the most likely issues that could occur on either side?

Once you've answered these questions, you pretty much have the outline of what needs to be laid out in the agreement. Below are some examples of the most common types of contracts, and what should generally be outlined in them.

Creating a Server Feature Agreement

Terms for the person receiving the feature:

  • The payment
    • ie. I will give Zardgyer $90,000 for the purchase of a pet for my account.
  • The timeframe
    • ie. This payment will be made after this contract is signed and locked, and before Zardgyer makes the purchase.


Terms for the person buying the feature:

  • The timeframe
    • ie. I will purchase a pet for Skylexia immediately after receiving my payment of $90,000.
  • The possible issue
    • ie. Should Skylexia not receive her feature within 2 hours of her payment, I will be reported and held accountable for Breach of Contract.

Creating a Money Loan Agreement

Terms for the lender:

  • The loan amount
    • ie. I will provide Zardgyer a loan of $300,000.
  • The loan return amount and timeframe
    • ie. I will receive back $330,000 from Zardgyer on or before March 31st, 2014 at 11:59pm EST.
  • How the money will be returned
    • ie. I will provide a sign in my town, Keara, for Zardgyer to return the $330,000 to. The payments will be made in increments of $5,000.


Terms for the loan recipient:

  • The loan amount
    • ie. I will receive a $300,000 loan from Skylexia.
  • The loan return amount and timeframe
    • ie. I will return $330,000 to Skylexia no later than March 31st, 2014 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Acknowledgement of repayment method
    • ie. I will return the money via a payment sign set up in Skylexia's town, Keara, in increments of $5,000.
  • Consequences
    • ie. If I do not repay the full amount by the deadline, I will be reported and held accountable for Breach of Contract.

Creating a Tool Loan Agreement

Terms for the lender:

  • The loan and the timeframe
    • ie. I will lend Zardgyer my Efficiency 7, Unbreaking 3, Silk Touch 1 Diamond Pickaxe named Averlight for 3 days. It will be due back on February 25th at 8:00pm EST.
  • The return method
    • ie. I will provide a chest in Keara, modified only to Zardgyer and myself, which should store the pickaxe when not in use for safety, and also serve to return the pickaxe at the deadline.


Terms for the loan recipient:

  • The loan and timeframe
    • ie. I will receive Skylexia's Efficiency 7, Unbreaking 3, Silk Touch 1 Diamond Pickaxe named Averlight for 3 days. It will be due back on February 25th at 8:00pm EST.
  • The return method
    • ie. I will store the pickaxe in the provided chest in Keara whenever it is not in use. At the end of the loan period, I will return the pickaxe to that chest permanently.
  • Possible problems
    • ie. Should I break or lose the pickaxe, I will have 1 week after the deadline (March 4th, 2014 at 8:00pm EST) to either return to Skylexia a pickaxe, either the original or one with the exact same specifications (Efficiency 7, Unbreaking 3, Silk Touch 1 Diamond Pickaxe), or to provide Skylexia a payment of 500,000 to replace the pickaxe. I will notify Skylexia immediately should this have to become an option.
  • Consequences
    • ie. Should I fail to return the pickaxe by the deadline, fail to notify Skylexia of the pickaxe being missing before the deadline, or fail to repay the pickaxe through one of the options listed above in the case that it gets lost of stolen, I will be reported and held accountable for Breach of Contract.

Why "Reported and Accountable For"?

The staff team will always try where possible to resolve a contract breach without laying bans or having to use many staff powers. This can involve, where the staff feel it is needed on a case-by-case basis, modifications to the terms of the contract, extension of deadlines, etc.
The staff's job is to minimize the damage caused by a breach of contract. If you impose late fees, or otherwise any sort of punishment that comes with breaking terms of the contract but does not involve it being formally reported (ie. payments for doing certain actions, such as playing lotto), the staff may not enforce these when it comes to a serious issue or breach of contract report, again decided on a case-by-case basis.
You should never aim to get someone banned with a contract. The aim should always be to finish the transaction to the best of both party's abilities. Should a person get banned for a breach, it immediately dimishes your chances of getting the transaction completed, which will leave you short and both parties unhappy.
If the consequence is to be reported and held accountable for, it cements the fact that they are responsible for upholding their end of the deal, and that the staff should make every effort to make sure that both sides get what they agreed to.

Tips

  • Be super detailed with your terms. The more specific they are, the less room there is for "guess work" or misunderstandings. Make it painfully clear what is going on, you have an entire thread to outline what exactly is going to happen with your transaction and you are encouraged to take advantage of that.
  • Always try to choose terms that are easy to collect evidence for, where possible. Staff can only act on a report if evidence is provided.
  • Make sure all screenshots are timestamped. This will allow staff to look further into problems, if need be.
  • Staff may ask you to revise your terms if they seem unclear, too difficult to collect evidence for, or otherwise threatening or extremely biased.
  • Staff lock threads so that changes can't be made to a contract after it has been signed. They will check timestamps to ensure that the last edit was before the other party signed, so don't try to play sneaky and scam. This can have severe consequences.