@bob: I doubt you read the ToS, given you just violated them:
It is possible for players to contact each other on the Website. In doing so, player are obligated to only send messages that ... (ii) are neither subjective,..
As you noted, you just made a number of subjective statements:
At least, that's my takeTL;DR: People are generally responsible for knowing what they sign up for, but not when the thing they sign up for is meant to trick them.
In general, Terms of Service tend to be quite expansive (e.g., Warzone's ToS prohibit multi-accounting in Section XVI) but they don't actually constrain service providers' ability to "make up rules as they go along"; service providers still have broad leeway to restrict service for reasons outside the ToS and ToS primarily create obligations on the service user rather than the provider. ToS also contain broad clauses that let service providers change them on the fly. In the case of Warzone itself, both the Rules (see: multi-accounting) and the enforcement of rules (see: the definition of 'spam' and enforcement policy around spam) directly contradict the "common sense" Terms of Service no one actually reads (this is by design and doesn't matter). To date, likely no one has been warned for sending messages that are subjective. Historically, many have broken Section XVII(ii) [the part I quoted], (iii) [damaging to a third party], and (vi) [expanding political/religious/etc. ideology] without any repercussion, because the ToS aren't
the rules- Section XVII is clearly a CYA section to keep the site safe if someone on here gets in trouble for something like defamation.
The ToS of Warzone even contradict themselves in a few places- Section IX has license provisions around submitted content that push liability for user-submitted content back onto the author, but Section XIV says mods are presumed to be shared under the MIT license... which pushes liability for user-submitted content away from the author. Who's liable if a Warzone mod somehow sets off the Russian nuclear arsenal and blows up Pyeongchang, South Korea? Section IX says it's the user's responsibility; Section XIV says it's not. (In practice, of course, courts aren't going to take the license and ToS at face value.)
Almost no one actually reads Terms of Service on the internet. In general, it's impractical to do so. In the real world, courts acknowledge this and occasionally decide that buried ToS clauses do not create binding, legally-enforceable agreements. Typically it's your responsibility to know what you agreed to, but not when the other party is deceptive or misleading. The other reality around contract law is that contracts often include things that aren't enforceable (e.g., employment contracts that designate employees as independent contractors, many clauses in rental agreements, pre-nuptial agreements that courts frequently ignore), so as an average user you don't really
get the benefit you described out of reading Terms of Service, because it's hard to predict their actual ramifications without a rough understanding of the pertinent law. Most contracts are boilerplate anyway, and court is not a practical avenue for most contractual disputes (see: Farah's rental story).
Going back to the original point, the same applies to buried settings like the card trolling in Rick's tournament. Like a ToS that buries some wild clause, the tournament tricks players by claiming to be something straightforward (an ordinary SE1W 1v1 tournament). If you want to bring contractual agreements into this, then just as a ToS with a buried "by using our service you give us permission to withdraw all the money from your bank account" clause is typically unenforceable (because that buried clause is not part of the user's understanding of what they agreed to), it's not reasonable to blame players for falling for what- as acknowledged by Rick- was intentionally meant to trick them.
The overarching idea here is that people should understand what they're signing up for, generally that is their responsibility, but that's not true when the thing they're signing up for is designed to confuse them.
If Rick hadn't labeled his tourney "Small Earth 1 Wasteland (1v1)" and used a buried setting (card quirks don't get highlighted and instead get mixed in with the dozens
of mundane settings, like a buried clause in a boilerplate ToS) to trick players, then it would be fine. As it is, the tournament Rick created serves only a malicious purpose to trick and trap players, make them angry (this is by Rick's admission; he's said before he hoped to generate hate messages), and worsen their experience by wasting their time.
I hope the rules catch up with reality.
Edited 10/2/2021 03:22:05