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  1. I have made my feelings on this subject know to some, but I feel that I need to share in a more permanent way. This was started when I read the following ban thread: I believe this ban is a horrible idea. The act of accidental TKing is not something anyone should be banned for under any circumstances. The fact that this was reported as accidental should have made this a non-issue and had this ban request dismissed immediately. Friendly fire is a fact of war, not a disruption to the game. To classify it as anything else is absurd in my opinion. To hold all the players of this game to such a level that no friendly fire is tolerated or we remove you from the community for a length of time, is beyond odd. This idea is extremely exclusionary and does not benefit the players harmed, the community as a whole, or correct the issue that led to the TK. With the sparse information we are given, this story is far from complete. All we know is a player has thrown a grenade and it has accidentally killed 2 friendly units. With no further information we cannot explore what exactly happened here. And that we cannot determine what steps we as a community can take to help the players, either the TK'd or TKer, avoid the incident in the future. Whether a ND, a bad throw, players in the wrong place or some other unforeseen problem, there is always something that can be done well before a ban is warranted. The overuse of bans is troubling to me. We are supposedly a community of tactical players that have come together to further this style of play. This is an inclusive concept. To bring players with similar goals of tactical gameplay together and enjoy what that has to offer. We should not be walking down this path of banning as a community; it is inherently against the idea of community. By removing players from the community, even for the shortest amount of time is exclusionary and therefor against the charter in my eyes. The UO charter section 1.0 states "United Operations is hereby established to serve as a community for fostering teamwork, simulation and cooperation in gaming." How does a ban further these goals? By banning we are slapping the player in the face and putting them in the corner for things that may have been completely unintentional. I feel I should define overuse. To me, the overuse of bans is; any use of a ban against any player that has not displayed a willing intent to disrupt the community. There are far better and more inclusive ways to correct perceived gaps in training or even negligence. Any ban should be used as a last step measure to correct these problems, not the first. That being said I do not disagree with the idea of punishment scaling in theory; its use should not start at ban. We should be looking at willful intent not instant gratification for the complaining party. While it may seem like a short time to the Regular community for what amounts to an alleged crime against the charter, server rules or possibly the regulars themselves, it is quite harsh punishment for the uninitiated, new or innocent players. Now, I do recognize there is a group of potential players that do not share our ideals. There are some that intentionally team kill or are intentionally disruptive. To me these characters are outside this argument. This is a discussion of bans towards normal players that uphold the ideals this community was founded on. Whether they are new or old, community veterans or Regulars, they all deserve our respect. These are our peers in the community and they should be treated as such. This includes the uninformed, the misinformed, and any other player who is attempting to become part of this community. The mere fact that someone has downloaded our add-on pack and configured everything to play with us, has shown they have taken a step to become part of the community. At very least they have attempted to see what we are about. We should be giving these players not only the benefit of the doubt but should be readily welcoming them into the community. To conclude, unless there is demonstrated intentional team killing or demonstrated intentional disruption, a ban should be off the table. It is not inclusive or constructive and undermines the community cohesion rather than improving it. We as community members must take these individuals and help them to assimilate into the community. This comes from inclusive action, like training or mentoring, and not punishment for petty problems. These things do not need to be formal but they do need to be unfailing, from every community member, be it regular or otherwise. Thank you for your time in reading this. I realize it is a bit long, and while not a comprehensive account of my outlook on this matter, it does bring to light some points that I feel need to be discussed. Thanks to Kenquinn, Grammar editor in chief.
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