Community Transperency on DM Decision



  • I'd be careful. A forum about who has been banned and why could quickly become less of a "hey, this player is out. Please don't do X" thing and more of a name and shame thing.



  • @Black_Rain_Dog:

    I'd be curious how often the DMs find themselves banning people. From newbie griefers who are just looking to cause trouble, to burned out veterans, does it really happen often enough to warrant a forum?

    I'd figure simply answering questions from interested parties in private would be sufficient.

    This is easily answered. About once or twice a month, usually. This includes the random griefer we've never seen and older players as well. Take note that this is an average.



  • Some weeks are really bad, some pass by with no trouble.



  • @Yardsale:

    @Black_Rain_Dog:

    I'd be curious how often the DMs find themselves banning people. From newbie griefers who are just looking to cause trouble, to burned out veterans, does it really happen often enough to warrant a forum?

    I'd figure simply answering questions from interested parties in private would be sufficient.

    This is easily answered. About once or twice a month, usually. This includes the random griefer we've never seen and older players as well. Take note that this is an average.

    This is just my personal opinion, but for a game and more specific a server that has a community that is getting smaller and smaller as time goes by, banning two people a month seems like an awful lot. Granted, if some of these people who ruin the experince for others dont get banned more people would leave because of that. There has got to be a way to get the player base up again, but that is for completely different discussion.



  • I've always felt that hiding the reasons behind a player's banning did more damage than good. If a player is banned, he obviously did something to warrant the ban, refusing to tell players what precisely only causes confusion, curiosity and dissent when they only hear one side of the story. "OMG, they banned this player over a total misunderstanding."

    While I can't suggest what should be punishable by what, I do suggest that bannings be reserved for more serious offenses against the community, rather than outright cheating. Perhaps multiple cheating offenses, and reduce PCs to level 1, or delete them for first blatant offenses (mistakes and ignorance being different stories).

    As someone else said, discipline privately, fire publicly. If someone has exploited, punish them, but keep the details private between the DM and said player, as they still are welcome here they should be treated as such. If a player warrants being banned, perhaps don't advertise the fact that they were banned, but be willing to tell the playerbase when asked. This is primarily for older, or more popular players, who's friends can easily go on a warpath.



  • Most bans aren't for simple cheating.

    I'd say bans are often for one of several reasons:

    Blatant rulebreaking multiple times.

    Flipping out, cursing at players or DMs, behaving insultingly in a manner that hurts the community.

    Griefing other players while knowing better.

    Logging to avoid talking to DMs when caught doing something pretty minor.



  • @Black_Rain_Dog:

    I'd be curious how often the DMs find themselves banning people.

    I think it varies.
    Personally, I've found myself banning altogether about 20 individuals, in the four years I've played as a DM here.
    Across that number of years I don't think that's a great deal.
    Others have far longer ban-lists than I.

    When and where can be pretty capricious.
    Bad timing for the most part I suppose.

    Suffice it to say, it's never an enjoyable experience, either administratively or personally.
    I'd really rather not have to waste my already limited play time dealing with it.

    Here's a sampling of one of my more egregious encounters (there have been worse). Log-ins and CD key removed to protect the guilty:

    (July 23th, 2007)

    [blank] blank/blank

    Griefing NPCs/metagaming guards/Abusive language to the effect of: "You suck FUCK THIS SERVER", to paraphrase.
    I informed them they were welcome not to play here any longer.

    Yeah, who wants to deal with that when you just want to relax, kick back and tell a little story.



  • @Coggs:

    This is just my personal opinion, but for a game and more specific a server that has a community that is getting smaller and smaller as time goes by, banning two people a month seems like an awful lot.

    The vast majority of bans are players who are abusive to other players or DMs AND/OR unrepentant cheaters. Generally, they're both. Trust me, you don't want to play with these people. Here are two of my favorites from my banlist- one of these guys actually threatened me and SI with the FCC:

    @HarryMcScary:

    04DEC07
    DELETED CD KEY/DELETED NAME

    Shitlisted by SI last night over item transferring- was a real jerk about it, telling us that it was our own fault that cheating happened- because we hadn't scripted it out. I popped into Frin's in time to see him trying to lead the dire bat out of the area, got knocked to near death, and logged out to avoid actually dying.

    @HarryMcScary:

    05JAN08
    DELETED CD KEY/DELETED NAME

    See various posts and his shitlist entry. Metagamed through party chat throughout the night, when I told him to stop, got smart about it saying "You guys don't give a fuck about PK in the market, but you mind a little metagaming about a level 1 scripted quest? Give me a break." Since I don't like the guy, I ignored it. However, he ended up dying on Parner's, and bitching OOC at the other players involved. When they got looted, he said something along the lines of "YOU FUCKING NOOBS! I told you how to handle this shit, but you were too fucking smart, weren't you. No wonder all the good RPers are at EfU." Didn't bother speaking to him, just booted him.



  • I havn't read much of this thread, only somewhere that someone was banned for cheating with an item that should have been obvoius it was too good to be true. If Im wrong on that correct me but my comments on that:

    Even if someone has played for years, it does not mean they would know if its too good to be true or not, if its a cheat or not. Playing for years often does not make a person wiser/more intellegent on those matters. In my experience someone can play a game for years but still not realise the obvoius.

    In said cases, I don't think a person should be banned for something like that UNLESS they are told that it was an exploit/cheat and then still do it anyway. How long they have played ect, should not matter.

    I've played years, but I did not know that base armor would not stack with Magical AC! Also, long time ago after two years, I did not know that getting MAX hp by continueing to roll was against the rules and I did this for AGES without knowing even though I played for about 2 years.

    Result? I was told this and then asked to relevel from 3. So if the above case is true, In my opinion, I think was to harsh. If it was not and they were told it was an exploit/cheat and did it anyway, then they deserved it - and thats how it should always be handled. If a player is cheating, they must get told. If continued, bant.

    As for the discussion as a whole, I think things are fine as they are. The DMs are running the server and I don't think everyone needs to know who was banned and why. You have been doing it for years and years after all and on most games the system you have now is as it is on most games. So long as when you ban someone the whole DM team knows about it. Thats how it works on most games anyways.

    So unless the whole team is -corrupt-, there should be nothing to worry about and I don't see any reason for a need to change! =p



  • I imagine that many of the bans are for abusive language and "OOC courtesy".

    I dont think we need a forum/post like:

    • xxxxxxx: banned for abusive language
    • yyyyyyy: banned for cheating (item transfer)
    • kkkkkkk: banned for metagaming NPC
      won't be useful, will be boring.

    I guess you are banned once you cannot have a productive discussion with the DMs -who are the refrees of CoA- on the reasons of the ban (or, mainly for abusive/aggressive OOC language). So definitely not players the community would have any interest in dealing with.

    Different it would be if the ban is a result of a distinct interpretation of the rules. But in this case I either assume that
    a) the view DM-Player is radically different and in this case, since the refree's opinion should prevail, the player should not be willing to play on CoA anymore and/or,
    b) in case of disagreement (and consequent ban) a player can always discuss via email the reasons of the ban and, accept them on a later stage thuse being reinstated.

    After all we play to have fun.
    If someone has fun cheating or feels that the scope of playing NWN on CoA is to get loot/levels/PKilling anything that moves, I assume he/she has not understood what CoA is about so I wonder why they play here… (in my opinion they would'nt even need a ban, they just have to understand theywould have more fun playing Dragon Age or the OP).

    What I do when I encounter a player who metagames too much, tends to use too much the "talk messages" for IG reasons, or for OOC organization is - if I feel uncomfortable due to the amount of unnecessary OOC chat - to drop from such party.
    CoA is quite good at self-regulating, unless intervention of a DM is needed for griefers or OOC abuse (in which case, again, dont' think it will be useful to be informed with an "ad-hoc" post on the forums).



  • Since the discussion seems to be headed that way, i'd like to make clear that i'm strongly against a name-and-shame ban gallery of any sort. The only transparancy i'm at all interested in seeing is stuff like this:

    @Moloch:

    I'd say bans are often for one of several reasons:

    Blatant rulebreaking multiple times.

    Flipping out, cursing at players or DMs, behaving insultingly in a manner that hurts the community.

    Griefing other players while knowing better.

    Logging to avoid talking to DMs when caught doing something pretty minor.

    @HarryMcScary:

    The vast majority of bans are players who are abusive to other players or DMs AND/OR unrepentant cheaters. Generally, they're both.

    And then if the DM team is clear about what caused the ban to the player banned (because clearly not all cases are cut-and-paste, one step out of line) then that's all the transparancy required. If this is already the case, then fine, but before this thread was made it remained a very hazy topic.



  • @Eliphas:

    I havn't read much of this thread, only somewhere that someone was banned for cheating with an item that should have been obvoius it was too good to be true.

    I correct you, if you are referring to NS's ban (I guess so, since its the most recent and somehow started this whole discussion), cheating was not the reason for the ban.

    False information that spreads like this is why I'd be -for- a forum that just simply lists the reasons and situations for a ban.



  • I think the ideas behind the forum are well intended, but will not serve their purpose.

    When a player is banned, those close to the said player often respond with disbelief. After all, how can someone you consider a friend be a cheater, or a massive ass hat? Its quite a natural response.

    Similarly, I can understand the other side, a DM thats seen a guy be an ass hat and cannot believe it when the comunity he helps to build and maintain think hes inept, mistaken or even lieing.

    Even with transparant information, some will always look for conspiracy in a ruling body, no matter the level of absurdity.

    I say save yourselves the paperwork.



  • I sense a lolcat picture looming in the horizon of this thread.. anyhow. I wouldn't mind shaming people who are banned. If they hurt them then we should maximize the pain we could create back. I don't spend hours, days and years playing on a server to have some jerk lolol his way and ruin my day.

    Heck, announce the ban in the shout channel. That would be exciting.



  • @Yardsale:

    I correct you, if you are referring to NS's ban (I guess so, since its the most recent and somehow started this whole discussion), cheating was not the reason for the ban.

    TL;DR version:

    Yes, some misunderstanding seems to remain on that front. I was not under the impression that the ban or its reason were contested (beyond the suggestion of an apology - not on the part of the DMs by any means) but the punishment for the exploit which upset a player to the point of doing something silly that did warrant a ban.

    The ban: no issue, it should be the case for what happened; deleting a character for utilizing an exploit unknowingly, not so much. Despite a lot of talk being about banning in the last few pages of this thread, that was not the central issue regarding why so much discussion erupted around NS. She could be lying, but it seems highly unlikely unless she was warned not to use this exploit and then used it again anyways - otherwise this is a new game mechanic on CoA and it's expected that a few people might not grasp exactly what/how it's meant to work.

    If there was a warning, and then the exploit was used again, then I have absolutely no problem with the approach taken to handle the matter. If there was no warning but punishment was doled out as though to a conscious exploiter, then I think a less heavy-handed approach should be considered and adopted. If it's not something being used directly to ruin another player's experience (eg. setting traps on transitions where there's no chance of spotting/reacting to them) then a warning not to do it again (which I think most, if not all mid-long term players will readily abide by once they are told something they are doing is not acceptable) and maybe a de-leveling or removing gold to get rid of any unfair advantage they might have gleaned from this exploit would, in my opinion, be enough, followed by deletions or bannings if the rules are still broken knowingly by the player (not that they knew what they were doing, but that they knew they were breaking a rule).



  • @Eliphas:

    I havn't read much of this thread, only somewhere that someone was banned for cheating with an item that should have been obvoius it was too good to be true. If Im wrong on that correct me but my comments on that:

    We'd never ban someone for simply not realizing something was an exploit. In this case, we deleted their character for using an exploit and not reporting it.

    The player was banned shortly after for calling a DM a "fuckwad" and then logging into IRC to drop a few more insults, and then posting on the forums about considering suicide.

    That kind of behavior is just troubling on many levels, and people who go that far are likely better off being removed from the community.

    That said, even deleting someone for one exploit is a pretty tough punishment, and it is possible that once the DM's anger at the exploit abuse had faded and the player talked to us reasonably that we'd have worked out a different response.

    Where so many people go wrong is that they over-react to DMs intervening. If you cheat, you hurt the whole community by cheating. DMs must respond to that or the entire integrity of the game system collapses. Its why baseball has umpires. CoA has DMs. Just like baseball though, you can disagree with an umpire's decision, do so politely and calmly and they may listen or if they don't you can talk to the commission (or approach the whole DM team with an e-mail)–but if you start cursing at us, throwing a fit, cursing at other players--you'll be tossed out of the game.



  • Since I'm not active, I don't know much about the situation that seems to have sparked this thread. I can tell you that if the player in question had approached the DM team with maturity, any punishment would have been looked at by the entire team for fairness. If it was heavy handed, it would have been dealt with. That's the way we do things. Apparently, the player did not do this, and instead lost his/her shit publicly/

    The big difference in the first time cheaters or exploiters who get banned and those who don't is their reaction. Some go off and act apeshit, so the DM team decides that they should not be part of this community any longer. Some accept what happens and move on. At least one of those people is now a member of the DM team- we're not unreasonable or unforgiving, but we do have to draw a line with offensive, insulting behavior.



  • If my character were deleted for using an exploit before I could explain myself, I would have difficulty remaining calm enough to explain myself after the deletion. I hope the policy isn't to delete first and ask questions later. The player who remains calm enough to explain his or her self after having months of invested time and effort vanish into the ether is a saint. Few of us are saints. A policy like that wouldn't be conducive to calmness and discussion. Rampages and bannings should be the expected result of that policy.

    I say give players the benefit of the doubt. If they are observed exploiting once, inform them that they have been observed exploiting. Tell them to stop using that exploit or face deletion. If they are observed using that exploit again, release the hounds. I hope that is the policy. I'm terrible at understanding the mechanics of this game. I would hate to be afraid to try new things because I don't want my character deleted for using an exploit unknowingly.

    I don't have opinions about the policy of bannings, but giving players the benefit of the doubt until they have been warned could be viewed as rampage and banning prevention. Also, I don't know the details behind the recent drama, and none of my opinions are based upon my connections to those players. My only want is for Arabel to remain an understanding and friendly server for people to game and have fun.



  • I am quite sure players are given the benefit of the doubt. Pretty sure a DM stated (I can't be bothered finding it), that if someone is seen using an explot, they will be watched, to see if it was a fluke, deliberate, use of something they did not realize was an exploit, or what-have-you.

    The DM team may be hard sometime, though the vast majority have been players before (Perhaps all of them). I am certain they can understand the frustration of having a character deleted, and try and offer some leeway on what might be harsh words from angry players, though that hardly means they deserve to be ranted at either.

    If you are banned, or something similar, simply try and take a few hours to cool off, then approach the DM team themselves as calmly as you can. Its sure to be better recieved than screaming at them.

    Anyway, more on track, I really can't say either way on the idea. On one hand, it would be nice to know the stark facts on why people are punished, to avoid any biased influence from angry sorces, but at the same time I think it should, to some extent, be kept private between the DM's and the offender. Both have their merits, but naturally, neither is flawless. Perhaps on a case-by-case basis. Shrug.



  • We always talk first, unless you log out before we have the chance. I could swear I said that! 🙂


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