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HellBlazed

[Discussion] The Ban Question

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Go for it Rich.

 

I'm sorry you unable to perceive sarcasm. I forgot this forum is a toneless medium.

Edited by Rich

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Am I the only one *not* missing the sarcasm in Rich's posts?

 

Perhaps disclaimers are required.

 

This post is not sarcasm.

Edited by Rich

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Did you not perceive the sarcasm in Huska's reply? I did. Still doesn't mean his comment is helpful. This thread is about ban abuse and you making jokes about it being abusive is not only impolite, it is detrimental to the discussion. So, I agree with Cro's method of dealing with it. Either have a serious discussion, or be quiet.

 

Again, leave your witty comments at the door of a serious discussion and as you say, make this a "toneless medium", as text communication is.

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Text is hardly toneless, there is no need for every sentiment in this thread to be deadly serious. Some of us actually enjoy our lives.

 

Rich brings up a good point - The reality is that regs and longtime members will always get the benefit of the doubt, whereas the average unknown will not. That's a function of being a community, I don't see it as problematic, it's just common sense. For the most part, we give people who have shown they share our values greater benefit when determining whether or not they took action out of line with those values.

 

People who don't know what's going on will have to either tread lightly or take their punishment for going over the line. That's worked fine as long as I've been at UO, I don't see why we would need to change it now.

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Bring this back to the topic, bans. IMHO we are very easy going when it comes to bans. What I have noticed is that if there are no Regulars on there is no fear of a ban. The other members will not look to ban someone unless they blatantly do something stupid. What does that mean? Maybe 10% of the things that should be banned are. I have literally seen this with in minutes of a Regular leaving the primary.

 

What we need is for more people to start stepping up and say this is not ok. That just because there are no Regulars on that I should not be able to expect a decent tactical mission without all of the distractions. I know others do not want to be ratting on a fellow member but this only is hurting the server. By degrading the game play on the servers we are degrading all that UO is ment to be. We probably will not see the Regulars playing more on the server until the game play improves but at the same time we know without the Regulars the game play does suffer. This turns into a sticky situation where nothing will change unless the few members that do care start to step up and help manage the members on the server and weed out the undesirables.

 

Now this is not a finger pointing post at any one person or group. What I do hope this to be is a self wake up call for everyone. Am I doing what is right? Am I allowing others to do what is wrong? By allowing this bad behavior and not posting a ban what message is being implied to everyone on the server?

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To be perfectly honest I'm ridiculously paranoid of bein banned for the slightest infraction. I understand things have probably changed since DayZ and perhaps your average non-regular player base is younger or more casual or used to other games. But I feel like everyone who is NOT a regular is not necessarily given the benefit of the doubt regardless of how long theyve played on the server and have contributed.

 

Instead of a 'ban', could it not be better to have a label for those who are not and maybe will never become regulars, but have still participated long enough in the community to be given the benefit of the doubt? Some people don't have the time or ability to dedicate themselves to UO as a regular but yet play every other day, leading effectively, being admin on the server when GMs aren't on, but don't necessarily warrant the ability to actively vote. These people could be given the 'benefit of the doubt' as opposed to an automatic firing squad for infractions such as an ND...? Sadly every time I'm on the forums and see familiar names being put up for bans (I don't know the details of most of those) it makes me feel less an less inclined to push myself to go past rifleman slots for fear of the ban hammer coming down on a new SL for incompetence during my first few missions in such a role.

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I beg to differ here. I believe if a Regular was to take an asset without the permission of the CO at the time then they too would be placed up for a ban similar to Rogue. The difference is that the Regulars are smart enough not to do this. Also as a Regular they do have rights unlike us members. We are afforded the opportunity to speak our mind and to defend ourselves if so banned but we have no rights in this process and just because it was an accident does it mean a ban would be overturned.

 

As a member you should not fear being banned for its fairly easy not to. You simple play smart, don't over extend yourself in the role your playing, and most important is that if you think your going to be doing something that is questionable, like taking that Humvee from the motor pool, don't do it and ask for permission before you do anything.

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To be perfectly honest I'm ridiculously paranoid of being banned for the slightest infraction.

 

I had a bit of talk with zenjamin about this over PM but I'll try to make public a couple of bullet points because other new players are reading it.

 

1 ) Don't believe too easily when someone says "I'm being banned out of the blue, no one talked to me!" because in many cases those are players who have been on the server with the wrong attitude for quite a while and have been told so multiple times. Eventually they get banned because of that one more thing they did and then they complain no one talked to them about that one thing before banning them - when they have been told about similar things multiple times.

 

2 ) Just have a look at what people get banned for. I have actually written a long text here and deleted it but, apart from the plainly stupid things like spamming your microphone (which I believe most people are not afraid of doing) and intentionally killing friendlies (same), a very big chunk of bans are for: flying helicopters in disrespect of leader's intent or plan and firing big guns when there are no enemies present or in disregard to leader's instructions. Don't do these things and your chances of ever getting banned are very, very slim.

 

 

 

On a quick side note, a big problem is that people don't like (and don't adapt to) being told what to do. They want to drive a vehicle if they feel like driving. To fire a big gun if they feel like firing, or shoot at the enemy if they feel like doing so. To run to a place they feel like running to. They hate when the leaders make a plan for a mission because they will be constrained into following that plan. For example, honestly few things irritate me more than having 8 people chasing me when I squad lead. I tell them to go to point A and I go myself to point B to have a quick look on the terrain, all the sudden there are 9 people (myself and the two fire teams) clustered in point B. Why? One of the things that irritate me more is people who run towards the enemy at all costs. They hear a gun fire in the distance? They abandon their squad and run alone towards the sound to engage all the enemies by themselves. Listen to what people tell you, and don't do everything you feel like doing. When in doubt, ask. "Do you want me to take this vehicle?", "Should I engage the enemy?", "Should I follow you?", "May I grab an AT", "Do you want me to move all the way there?", "Can I fire the AT into that infantry?". Even when you see an enemy, if he is not danger close or pointing the gun to friendlies, report it instead of opening fire unless told beforehand to do otherwise. "Contact, front, 300m, infantry in the open. What do I do?", and let your leader tell you what to do. With time you'll learn to do some judgements by yourself, and will even get acquainted with different leaders and with how each of them want you to react. Until then, ask. Close side note.

 

 

3 ) a bit of fear of being banned is not necessarily a bad thing, for many reasons that I won't go into. I fear being banned, too. And that's good because this fear has helped me make a better decision at least once.

 

4 ) as Herbiie said (I don't even remember if in this thread) a 15 minute ban, or even if it gets to a worse case scenario a 24 hour ban, is not the end of the world. Go watch a movie or play Planet Side for one evening (it's a free game!). If it got to the point of a ban, you've probably learnt a lesson and will not do the same thing again. Right? Maybe the term "ban" is strong because it might give the idea that you cannot play here any more. In fact one just gets suspended from a few minutes to a few hours, and it only gets past this in very rare and serious occasions of intentional disruption. Notice here in the guidelines that it only gets to 24 hours for repeated infractions players were told not to do, and it only gets to a week or more for major disruptions by players who know their conduct to be inappropriate.

 

In all honestly, a pretty lenient system. No reason to get paranoid if you don't intend to do something disruptive and to then keep doing it even when told not to ;)

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I always try to keep up with what's happening on the Ban & Appeal forums. On the whole, people are getting banned for simply not following the underlying precepts of the community. FFS, they're clearly listed in the first couple of lines of the charter to make it easy for people: Teamwork, cooperation, maturity (sic), friendship, fun, professionalism and respect. Every single ban thread can be brought back to someone deciding to not follow one or more of these basic concepts.

 

However, I also believe the ban-hammer should be used only to ensure the smooth-running of the server is not disrupted, and that a ban should be a signal that either someone needs a wake-up call to how UO works, perhaps some time on the training server, or that perhaps UO is not the community for them.

 

John

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Perfect example was just presented to me.

 

Playing a TVT, nighttime, no NVGs visibility virtually nil. I keep hearing over the radio 'enemy north west' but can't get a visual. Finally see a figure running in the dark far off in that direction, launch a few m203s in that direction. I'd already killed an enemy not 10 meters from that position about a minute before by direct fire. Turns out it was Platoon lead running around out there and a breakdown in communication means that our squad didn't know. Luckily for me, I don't kill him with my grenades...

 

In the case that I had killed him and he objected, would that be negligence on my part to ascertain PID, or would it be excused as something that was merely a mistake in the pitch black of night, given that was where I had previously engaged and killed enemies and they were still being called in that direction?

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You would and should NOT be banned for that occurrence Zen.

 

It's again the difference between a team kill and friendly fire. If you acted with the best of intentions then you should not be banned - it was the breakdown in communications that caused that incident not you, I'm sure we've all done it.

 

For example I once had a situation where my squad was covering another squad moving into town. As this began our SL, with the only radio, disconnected and our last instruction was to engage everything in the town - we knew there was a friendly unit moving up but we did not know where they would be. Again it was dark with no night vision or flares.

 

The friendly squad's route was not known to us, and so we were waiting for a squad to move past us before we stopped shooting everything that moved. It turns out, however, that the other squad had taken a concealed route and were very quickly in the village. They took a double-dosage of PKM and were destroyed almost to a man. To make things worse an enemy patrol had assaulted our position, and so when friendly units ran towards us (ignoring/not hearing commands to halt) they were also engaged. The situation was eventually resolved when the sole survivor did halt when ordered as he approached the squad. It was only then that we found out that we had been shooting a friendly unit.

 

This situation involved several regulars (believe I gunned down Beta after he didn't hear me shout halt, twice) and possibly even a GM - no bans were issued. Friendly fire happens, especially in the dark when there's limited communication. Words were exchanged (we received abuse for the friendly fire and a member received some for not stopping when ordered) and that was the end of it, we moved on and played another mission to more success.

 

A bannable team kill would be the intent - in both the above situations the intention was to kill enemies, it just so happened that those enemies were friendly. A team kill would be your squad leader said you can't go by yourself to the right to be awesome and so you shot him deliberately, knowing he was friendly.

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As Herbiie said, that's nothing to worry about, zenjamin. Accidents happen, and in that case you had good reason to believe it was an enemy.

 

I've made my entire squad kill the platoon medic in one mission, I've shot other platoon members, just yesterday my squad's M113, fully loaded with infantry, was shot to shit by friendy troops. All of the previous happened because of communication errors/breakdowns and because of being/appearing in areas enemy is expected to come from (although in the M113's case the entire platoon should have known our location previous to our movement, as well as be aware of the order to regroup at the next phase of operations, so should have been more careful with a visual ID of us before firing), and no action was taken against the firer because of the reasonability in the mistakes.

 

It is true that non-Regulars, and in particular new non-Regs are more vulnerable to bans, because we do not know you as a person and thus don't know your personality and behaviour well enough to be fair in disciplinary action. Thus we usually use bans more often/more harshly on new people, but it is more a precautionary thing. Do not take it personal should it happen. Stay calm, explain what happened and why, and you'll be treated in kind. :)

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In my opinion, three types of justice are able. 

 

1. Based on intention

2. Based on proces (sequential choices)

3. Based on result

 

Every type has his advantages and disadvantages.

 

First of all, the third type is the easiest to check, while the first one is the hardest to find evidence for. The second is somewhere in the middle. Second of all, the third one is the most efficient over the second and the third. Third of all, a type one will not hurt peoples feelings ("I made a mistake with good intention, pls do not punish me for my intention), while the second and third tend to do. 

 

Furthermore, what is most effective, is dependant on situation. 

 

As my personal preference, no life choices or great consequences in a player his life is done by a UO ban. It greatly reduces the amount of time (which is voluntary here) spend on a ban-case. My personal preference is, for UO at this time, the justice based on results.

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Bring this back to the topic, bans. IMHO we are very easy going when it comes to bans. What I have noticed is that if there are no Regulars on there is no fear of a ban. The other members will not look to ban someone unless they blatantly do something stupid. What does that mean? Maybe 10% of the things that should be banned are. I have literally seen this with in minutes of a Regular leaving the primary.

 

What we need is for more people to start stepping up and say this is not ok.

 

I think this stems from the user base being unclear on who's allowed to issue bans. If you review the ban forums, it's all regulars, GMs, and officers issuing bans. They also have the ability to back those bans up by knocking people off TS. If a simple member were to try and ban someone, how would that go down? How would they enforce it? I think we may need clarification or a policy before we can expect this sort of action from the non-regular member base.

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Members cannot ban other members. Problems are reported to regulars and officers, who then issue the ban. The person who reported the issue will usually post in the thread giving their full explanation of what the problem was.

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Anyone can start a ban thread. I have been told it is preferred that a ban post is posted and rejected over no ban post at all. The actual ban comes from the regulars.

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I think this stems from the user base being unclear on who's allowed to issue bans. If you review the ban forums, it's all regulars, GMs, and officers issuing bans. They also have the ability to back those bans up by knocking people off TS. If a simple member were to try and ban someone, how would that go down? How would they enforce it? I think we may need clarification or a policy before we can expect this sort of action from the non-regular member base.

 

Wrong. It's not "all" regulars, GM's, and officers. Members can and do post ban threads, and, since they are not usually outright lies posted to get someone banned, they are usually approved. Obviously, there is a responsibility on the part of the member who posts the thread to give as accurate a report as possible, and to not skew or twist things using invective or inflammatory language, i.e. don't vent or talk smack in the post. A ban posted in a dishonest manner would obviously backfire.

 

Good point to raise, too - if you weren't clear that you could do this, there must be others. As for myself, I assumed that the ban threads posted by non-regulars were enough of a message that members do have means to ensure rules are enforced, but I must be wrong. Getting the right information out is an issue we have to deal with to help out all the members. Thanks for the heads up.

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I was KIA in TFOps y'day.

I learned later that it was from an Instructor's fire.

 

I'm sure there are consistent rules that can be applied. Like a flat 2D map being pressed against an irregular 3D surface. Which is what life is about. And why God created officers.

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I was KIA in TFOps y'day.

I learned later that it was from an Instructor's fire.

 

I'm sure there are consistent rules that can be applied. Like a flat 2D map being pressed against an irregular 3D surface. Which is what life is about. And why God created officers.

 

Yeah, just to clarify so people don't get the wrong context when reading. The instructor was shooting to miss so we could practice moving under fire. Dawks was prone and stood up quickly without the instructor expecting, then got accidentally shot. I was right next to him, it was clearly an accident - which, if I understood his post correctly, is exactly what he means :)

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Back on bans,

 

The system at present seems fair enough to me. That may be because I'm a regular and see things differently then someone who has just joined but still.

 

If (I stress again I am fine with status quo) we wanted to remove any appearances of fascism or whatever the kids are calling it these days, I thought of a system that in theory wouldn't take too much more time then the current one.

 

>User commits a first time offense against the rules (this can be either deliberate or circumstantial). This does not include mic-spamming in ts, which will be dealt with the same way it is now, permaban.

>User is moved to a special "Purgatory"/holding cell ts channel and has their member groups removed, so that they can't switch out of it.

>User is kicked from the game and given a temporary ban for the duration they are in "Purgatory".

>At the earliest convenience, the GM who saw or is handling the report switches channels to "purgatory". There they explain to the user in question why they were kicked. The user may present their side of the story (which may include "I'm new and an idiot, sorry it won't happen again").

>If the GM feels that the person has learned a lesson or made a genuine error, the ban is lifted at the end of the current mission and the user has all privileges restored.

>The GM makes a note somewhere (Public Forums, Regular/GM/Officer forum, teamspeak etc) listing that the user has used their ignorance/first offense card.

>If the user leaves teamspeak before the GM has the time to talk to him/her, then the ban is treated as an admission of guilt and handled in the standard 24/48/72 hour scale. Note that the teamspeak channel should have a clear explanation of the process so that the user if he so chooses is making a conscious decision by leaving.

 

Written down it seems like a lot, and I completely understand that in a busy game the GM doesn't want to/doesn't have the time to deal with each case right away. But honestly I don't see this system being too much of a burden, and if we wanted to "be nice" to our playerbase (THawk, Toadball, and Jake are already laughing at me). If the guy is legitimate about his mistake "sorry I didn't know I wasn't supposed to swap weapons" then we don't have to file a full ban on the forums.

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And why God created officers.

 

God created Officers to give Sergeants someone to look after and you know it!

 

Usually if a new guy does something wrong that is not obviously wrong it does not end in a ban - when they start arguing about it THEN bans come in. If the admin tells you to do something then either do it or leave.

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I will add something to this conversation. I have said it before apologies do not exempt people from the consequences of their actions and intent does not exempt them from the seriousness of a situation. Sometimes a bad choice or a mistake still requires corrective action. It should always be measured by the situation but there always should be a response even if that is just a "don't do it again".

 

I will put it another way man slaughter is unintentional but still needs corrective measures.

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