Login - Register
RulesHow DCL WorksMemorabiliaRetired Pilots
Archived Rules

These are the rules that were in force when the ladder was in operation. These are still the rules by which games are played, but we are on much more of an honor system than we used to be. Play for your own enjoyment and the enjoyment of your peers, on your own honor.


There is no approval process. Anyone many join the ladder and immediately begin playing matches.


Matches are reported to the website immediately after they played. Loser reports, winner approves.

Treat reporting the match as part of the process of playing it, and don't break contact with the other pilot until it's done. You may not play another match until the first has been fully approved.

Make sure you check that all the details are reported correctly before approving a match. If you need to edit something, you can, and the system will send it back to the other pilot for approval.


If a match is interrupted, the pilots involved have three options: continue from the current score, restart the match from the beginning, or discard the match entirely. Try to agree on which of these options is the most fair and honorable.

If you do not agree on which option is fairest, the pilots' rights come in this order: First, either pilot has the right to insist that the match continue from the current score. If both of you waive that right, then either pilot has the right to insist that the match be played over from the beginning, in the same level and under the same circumstances. If neither of you want that, discard the result, as if the match never happened.

This is a key difference from IDL! On IDL, a pilot was allowed to submit a "forfeit" by raising the other pilot's score to 20. DCL does not allow this. On DCL, every kill matters to the rating algorithm, so it is never acceptable to submit or verify an incomplete match or an incorrect score.

Intentionally rage quitting is always unacceptable, and can be expected to result in a suspension. Respect the game and play it through.

Game Title

DCL matches must say "DCL" in the game title (for example, "DCL Fusion Trophy" or "DCL Drak vs Loth"). Practice matches must say "DCL Practice". In case of disputes, we will go with what the title said, so check it before you join.

If you press "Pause" in game, the game title is displayed above the scores. It is a good habit, though it isn't required, to press Pause and then Printscreen at the end of a match.

Game Settings

These are the default game settings:

Any of these settings may be changed if both pilots agree. If you discover in game that these settings have been changed without your prior agreement, you have the right to abort and void the match. If you don't stop the match as soon as you discover the problem, you lose that right.

Home Levels

You may have one home. Your home includes the game, level, and settings.

You must declare before a match starts that it is being played in a home level, and the pilot whose home it is has complete control over all game settings.

You don't have to have a home level.


Keep your pilot name and match comments PG-13. Some people's kids play, and we want this ladder accessible to them.

Skill Ratings

The skill rating system is self-correcting. If you feel you ought to be rated higher than you are, go out and beat tougher pilots by bigger margins. If you feel someone is rated too high, go take them down a peg. Don't complain to the admins about your skill rating; they can't do anything about it and will just tell you to go fix it yourself.

It may help to get rematches against pilots you've done poorly against in the past.

Descent Rangers

DCL is a completely independent organization from Descent Rangers. Don't bring ladder issues up with them, don't bring Rangers issues up with us. We'll just send you to the other guys.

It is permissible to play games and have them count as both DCL matches and Rangers scored games. You must abide by both sets of rules.

The two groups do have different default game settings. To play a game for both groups, you will need to explicitly agree to all those settings. You can do this by declaring "DCL Rules" (insane, no spawn invulns, dynamic lighting off, start immediately) or "Rangers Rules" (ace, invulns, start in timeout).


There are three ladder admins. They are required to remain active competitive players. They are required to handle enforcement issues with transparency, fairness, and respect for evolving community standards. If they kick someone, the community will know why, and probably will have had a say. If one admin can't uphold those standards, the other two are required to replace them with someone who can.

The admins are in charge. This ladder has rules for clarity, but this place is run by people, not a system. Just because there isn't a rule to cover a specific situation won't stop us from banning you over it if you're lame enough! If you try to abuse the rules or the way the site runs, we'll kick you without warning. If you play in a cowardly way, we might create a badge of shame just to award to you. If you're a jerk, we won't require pilots to accept challenges from you.

Bottom line, we're not going to write rules to cover every situation. We expect every pilot to play with honor. Don't make us hold you to it.


If you and another pilot run into an unusual game situation, try to decide between you what's fair. We encourage you to consult other pilots or even post on the forum about the situation in general. If there is a community consensus on how a particular situation is handled, we expect you to follow it.

If you can't agree on a fair solution or generally feel you've been wronged, contact an admin and we'll make a ruling.

If you have a personal problem with another pilot, don't play them. We don't want to know about it. If someone's SO bad you feel there ought to be an exception for challenges, talk to us.


If you suspect another player is cheating, take a demo of the rest of the match and send it to the admins. Drakona and Lothar will analyze it.

If we conclude on the basis of two or three demoes that a pilot is indeed cheating in matches, we will publicly explain our reasoning and ban them. If we conclude they aren't cheating in your demo, we'll let you know privately.

You may not publicly accuse other pilots of cheating.