Frequently Asked Questions

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Dragon etiquette
  • How to behave on the server?
    Everyone wants to enjoy being around here to play this beautiful game named Go. By and large most users of this site behave appropriately and come here to have an enjoyable time. As it is a publicly available site, it is necessary to provide some policy on behaviour. It is a very friendly place, so the vast majority of DGS users will never need to read this.
    There is a basic set of DGS rules of behaviour in the form of the Dragon Go Server policy.
    DGS favours The Core Rules of Netiquette.
    DGS users are expected to conform to the above and to behave appropriately. Please remember that people of widely-varying ages and cultures use this site. All users can expect to be treated with proper respect.
  • How should the resources provided by DGS be used responsibly?
    The Dragon Go Server (DGS) is a free-to-end-user facility, that is kindly hosted by our provider Samuraj Data AB in Sweden. In order to make the best use of all the resources, it is important that DGS players act responsibly.
    Viewing a page on DGS blocks some of the resources the server can provide at any one time. That means, there is a limit of how many parallel requests the server can answer within a certain timeframe.
    Since DGS was founded in 2001 many new users joined the server, and there are currently 2000-3000 unique users each day.
    To prevent excessive usage of the server there are two features in place:
    • A user access quota monitors the number of hits by a user. If the quota is reached the account will be blocked for some time (usually a day). A warning will be shown on the web-site shortly before the quota is exceeded.
    • The access quota is NOT applied to the RSS-channel, the quick-status page, the WAP-channel and SGF-download.
      For the alternative interfaces (RSS-/WAP-channel and quick-status), a monitor is in place, that returns an error on excessive usage.

    DGS is not a real-time server, so it is not expected that you access pages or make requests too often. Every additional request to the server takes away resources from others.
    As a guideline:
    • Use mail-notification to inform yourself about updates (done twice per hour) instead of the other possibilities.
    • Avoid auto-refresh of DGS pages. It decreases the available access quota.
    • If you use auto-refresh or a regular request for RSS/WAP or quick-status be sure to disable it when you do not need it.
      It's a good thing, when your RSS-reader or DGS-notification client allow to configure it when and how often they poll the server.
    • More details about how to use RSS, WAP, quick-status, quick-play and SGF-download can be found in the FAQ-entry: Request limitations of alternative interfaces

    Currently DGS has an average of 1 Mio page-hits per day. As an extreme example, let's assume 2000 players all use RSS for the whole day asking every 5 secs. That would be 2000 users * 17200 requests/day = 3.4 Mio RSS-requests ONLY for that. The vast majority of results would be without updates. These would be wasted requests that have needlessly used server resources.
    It is the responsibility of all of us to choose wisely to ensure DGS remains an enjoyable place for everyone.
  • Is it okay to wish someone "good luck" when starting a new game?
    Yes, of course. Some players appreciate the traditional term onegaishimasu, too.
  • Can I use aids while playing a game?
    The Dragon-team would ask you to take the following to heart while playing a game:
    • You CAN use all kind of aids by doing research of your own.
      For example studying books, looking up joseki dictionaries, game databases, and analyzing your game in an SGF editor.
    • In light of fair play you SHOULD NOT ask another person or go-playing program to help you find your moves or strategy in the game.

    The above does not apply for games with a different agreement between the players. In teaching games it can make sense to ask for views from others. Tournament directors may have specific rule sets for their tournaments.
    We would consider it polite to clarify any different rules with your opponents before you start your games.
    Unless different rules are agreed, it will be assumed that players are operating as outlined above. To deviate from this without agreement from your opponent would be cheating.
    To give you a better understanding of this topic please look at: Can I seek help during play?
  • Can I seek help during play?
    Before you continue reading you should be familiar with the more general view on this topic in the FAQ-entry:

    Using books, solving Go problems, playing against computers and discussing games with other players are generally accepted and encouraged. Forum discussions have shown that many (possibly all) players here do one or more of these things. For a game in play, some, all, or none of these could cause concern for some opponents, and this issue is discussed below.
    Many players would consider it inappropriate to consult others or use certain aids for a game in progress. Some players do not object to this, particularly for weak players. Very few players would object to the use of books or an SGF editor whilst playing a game. Using a computer to choose your moves for you would be frowned upon by some players and would be accepted by others. Using a computer to help understand the options and then choose a move yourself is different, but some players might not accept this as reasonable.
    There are some strong views about these kinds of issues. Some players would take different views if a game were ranked, unranked, or in a tournament. In an unranked teaching game you might be encouraged to seek help during play.
    If you intend to use a computer or consult others about which moves to make during a game it would be polite to notify your potential opponent in advance, as they may not wish to play in those circumstances. If you have not asked about this in advance, and subsequently find you would like to use a computer or consult someone during play about possible moves, it would be considered polite by some players to ask first. If your opponent objects, some people would feel the fair way to continue play would be to do it without such help, since the opponent did not know you intended to do this when they took the game.
    Despite differences in opinion as to what kind of aids are legitimate to use during play (if any), there is a commonly shared view that you will not help yourself to improve if you do not understand and choose your own moves.
    Much of this is about custom and practice, culture, and what individual players feel is reasonable.
    However, in the interest of fair play we ask you to follow what is outlined in

    and if you want to derive from that, to reach an agreement on different rules with your opponents before starting your game.
    Some players choose to put entries in their Bios to indicate what kinds of aids they use and what their expectations of other players are in this regard.
    If you find this topic to be of interest, you may wish to look at some of the debates in the Forum, listed at the following URL, and on the page to which the link refers:
  • How do I file a complaint?
    If you consider that someone is not acting within DGS policy, or if you have any other query concerning DGS, please contact one of the Contributors to Dragon. They will be happy to help. There is some explanation of this page on topic Who are the people behind Dragon?
    Not all DGS contributors are frequently active on the site. The Forum Moderators tend to be here more often, so even if your query is not about the Forum, this may be a good place to start. Do not worry if you are not quite sure who to contact, your query will be passed to the correct person.
    Ideally, complaints should be kept to a minimum and it is best if players resolve issues between them.
    If issues are not resolved, public accusations in the Forum may lead to worsening the situation rather than a resolution, so please follow the above procedures.
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