Author Topic: Player Harassment and Creation of a Toxic Atmosphere  (Read 10204 times)

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Summary:Player Harassment and Creation of a Toxic Atmosphere
Violation:Social Contract: Fair Play
World:Atamara
Complainer:TH
About:Jason

Full Complaint Text:
The Player of Jason Elegant along with various other members of the League of the Eagle have contributed to creating a toxic atmosphere for play, and have focused harass and abuse to myself as a player over the course of the past month.


List of contributing players:

Jason Elegant (primary)

Enri Kinsey (secondary)

Ottar Perkeleet (contributing)

Luthor Forbes (contributing)

Zadar Nargath (contributing)

Ivore Whiteblood (contributing)

Virgo Blue Star (contributing)

Archymond Paxwax (contributing, apologized)


The Social Contract reads:

  •          Playing together is more important to us than playing against each other. We expect you to play the game as you would play a board game with good friends, and to value fair play above any victory or power.

  •    

  •           No verbal attacks, insults or harassment of other players. Err on the side of caution, especially if you don't know the other player well.

  •    

  •           Note that during roleplays, characters can be played as aggressive, as long as it is clear and obvious that the opposite character is the target, not the player behind him.


   The basis of the following evidence is that the accused parties have created an atmosphere which is explictly targeted against myself as a player and the use of OOC messages and ongoing themes of OOC content to harass me, ridicule me or my realm, or to convince players using OOC means that my character shouldn't be trusted instead of using IC means.



   Specifically, OOC jabs at my realm's name and the name of my character began a month ago, quickly followed by OOC statements that my character is "evil", "manipulative", "can't be trusted", etc...and the finally adoption of these same OOC comparisons into letters which while given "IC letterhead" are neither *clear* nor *obvious* that it is targeted at my character and not myself the player.



   Overall, this seems to be an orchestrated, group-wide effort by members of the League of the Eagle on Atamara, primarily leaders which includes two rulers, and government members both past and present to harass and ridicule me as a player for taking an IC action. While levels of contribution to this vary, and I believe the punishments (if proven guilty) should vary as well, it is important to remember that a higher standard should be held for government members in this game. They are teaching new players and those below them that such an atmosphere is acceptable.



   Finally, Jason Elegant's player in particular should receive a harsh punishment because he has already been warned by the Magistrates before for this same action. This is a repeated offense. For him at least, I request an extended account lock punishment, and a multi-month ban on government positions. Other government members contributing to this should also not allowed to continue such action, but as contributions to this infraction vary, I'll await further discussion by magistrates on that issue.



   Evidence will follow via a forum post. (easier to format)



Dante Silverfire

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Jason Elegant:
Quote
Letter from Jason Elegant   (12 hours, 9 minutes ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (55 recipients)
Brothers,

Please excuse me for interrupting in your political talks. I just want you to tell a story. If any resemblence with any true incidence is found, then it would purely be a coincidence. Here is the story:

Long back, there was a League of the Elite (LoE) consisting of some realms. There was a region called 'Elosta' which belonged to enemy. A treaty was signed between LoE and that enemy (Estonz) to give the region to a new allied realm called 'Real Estonz'. But, suddenly, the lord of 'Elosta' transfered the region to one of the league nations called 'Corio' which was under the influence of an anti league person called 'the one who cannot be named' (TOWCBN). Then TOWCBN got greedy. He refused to honor the treaty of the League. He told that since the region belongs to his duchy, he cant give it to anyone. All the league nations were stunned after hearing this. Nobody expeced this act of betrayal. The league had helped 'Corio' kill 'Hammargays' and steal all its regions and when time came, Corio's top leaders got more and more greedy. Needless to say, no other league nation liked it.

Today, when Corio's regions changed realm, TOWCBN is making such a big fuss about it. He forgets that he will reap whatever he had sowed long back. Moreover, due to two antiqe plans of TOWCBN, league could not defeat its enemy called 'Lightka'. This will never be forgotten by the ones who were betrayed. The only chance of survival of TOWCBN and his fancy name realm is that he helps kill 'Lightka' and bring victory to the League, just like 'Hammargays' were eliminated for him.

So, that was a simple story.

Jason Elegant
Royal of Cagilan Empire

Quote
Letter from Jason Elegant   (8 hours, 57 minutes ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (55 recipients)
Yes, actually, 'the one who cannot be named' behaves like a 5 year old. Due to this, he has endangered his whole realm...

Next part of story is that the league knows that TOWCBN had snatched 'Lightka' from its jaws. So, the league proposed that either put Lightka back in its jaws or return back the hammargay's all lands to the league. Needless to say, TOWCBN chose to side with Lightka and his whole fancy name realm was wiped out. Poor fellow destroyed his own realm by back stabbing the league by protecting Lightka and taking all anti league nobles in his realm.

Disclaimer: this part of story has no resemblence to any event happening in future. If similarities are discovered later on, then that would be a coincidence.

Jason Elegant
Royal of Cagilan Empire

Nothing in either of the two above letters makes it even remotely clear that he is referring to Merlin and not myself as a player. He doesn't even once NAME Merlin as the person. Anyone knowledgeable of the event though understands that I'm the only possible target.

His response when called on the fact that he was being offensive:

Quote
Out-of-Character from Jason Elegant   (7 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (55 recipients)
lol... Justin, that was funny bro. Its like watching scary movie series :D

Let's chill with a beer !

Wansu Seisan


Enri Kinsey:
Quote
Out-of-Character from Enri Kinsey   (29 days, 11 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (50 recipients)
What's with all these hard-to-remember names? Silnaria? Seriously?!

Why not Silvaria?

Or just go full egomaniac and name the realm Silverfiria?

I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Narnia?

Yangfan Wang
Quote
Out-of-Character from Enri Kinsey   (29 days, 10 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (50 recipients)
I'm-Somewhat-Disappointed-It's-Not-Narnia

Yangfan Wang
Quote
Out-of-Character from Enri Kinsey   (29 days, 10 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (50 recipients)
At the risk of pissing off Sean :), let me break character for one more moment to applaud TH's handling of Merlin, who continues to prove that he can play his fellow Corians (sorry, Silnarians) like cheap fiddles.

When Enri writes his memoirs, I do believe he will take full and complete credit for raising such a Machiavellian student. :D

Yangfan Wang

Quote
Letter from Enri Kinsey   (15 days, 10 hours ago)
I only read Tyrant Ottar's message after having sent out mine.

"Silnarnia" has a nice ring to it, though.

In all seriousness, Your Majesty, Prime Minister Torsaan is trying his hardest to convince our Senators to agree to peace with your realm and... your loudmouth is not helping. Several Senators have switched their votes to nay, citing your Countess Raziella's messages.

Assuming that we can push this through the Senate, we'll exchange peace for passage rights with you and then get out of your way. You and Tyrant Ottar can have fun with your staring-contest. The rest of us have Darkans to kill.

Sir Enri Kinsey
General of Cagilan Empire
Quote
Out-of-Character from Jean Luc Kinsey   (16 days, 6 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (56 recipients)
Game mechanics trump RP. Anyway you look at it, CE and Tara are allied with Coria, and Silnaria is the one in rebellion here.

Yangfan Wang

^An attempt to use OOC messages to convince people that the IC discussion is rightfully in their favor.^

Ottar Perkeleet:
Quote
Letter from Ottar Perkeleet   (16 days, 6 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (56 recipients)
I Can't Believe It's Not Merlin...

:)

That were found on trhat scribe too
To me this mean: I have never asked that any of our infils will go after any Royals so I will not say yes to this question. I want that they will make the first move against us before we will make ours.. That we will wait until Narnia will attack against us and every desent ruler who has been here long enough knows my basic idea sending infils against Royals. It is pointless to twist that principle, yes yes, i know that you don't have any and we couple of old timers have those. We won't sell our words and promises.


Don't even answer on this as will not read your messages. If Narnia has something to say you can send an Ambassador .

Ottar Perkeleet
Tyrant of Tara
Celestial Fury:
Quote
Letter from Celestial Fury   (26 days ago)
Message sent to all full members of "League of the Eagle" (31 recipients)

To the realm claiming to be successor to Coria,
And to the former King now King under the mountain once more,

I would have preferred to do this in the elders chambers but apparently many of the elders are most resistant in giving you access once more, even temporarily to facilitate communications. Thus, so be it.

King, Con you explain these words of yours?
Silnaria, continues to see itself as allies of this league, and will support our allies in their war efforts.

THEIR war efforts, is it? Not OUR war efforts? My physician tells me this is most likely due to:
interference of some unconscious ("dynamically repressed") subdued wish, conflict, or train of thought.

It's kind of revealing, yes? But of course as you claim to be the direct and legal successor to Coria, inheriting all its previous functions and roles, no doubt you have already RE-DECLARED war on Darka. Wait, no?? I can't wait to hear the Better Speculative reason (in short, BS) you have for this.

King, Con you explain why you are being paranoid of coming under attack?
If you cannot, do allow me. It has to do with your naming faux pas [foh pah]. You've never being able to get it right. To refresh, in your previous short reign as a Monarch you went through multiple titles and what we addressed you as one day was no longer valid the next day. First it was King Con (King/Consul). Then it was Pimp (Princeps Imperator). And now that you name your realm KOS, you can't sleep at night.

May I can introduce you to my physician?
Celestial Fury
Prime Minister of Cagilan Empire

^Although Celestial Fury is no longer playing, this letter is used as another example of the type of toxic environment that has been steadily created and supported.

Quote
Out-of-Character from Mizuhiro Ishida   (25 days, 20 hours ago)
Message sent to all full members of "League of the Eagle" (31 recipients)
I'm sorry Alvin, but I kinda agree with Sean here (as well as what Enri said, I guess). It does seem like Celestial's wording towards Merlin's actions borders on a slightly "un-noble" way of communication, especially the uh... weird acronym play on Merlin's titles that's been going on.

En Kai



Ivore Whiteblood:
Quote
Out-of-Character from Ivore Whiteblood   (29 days, 11 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (50 recipients)
I'm a bit surprised it's not something like "Get Off My Lawn" or "I'm Taking My Toys And Going Home"

James Stephens

Zadar Nargath:

This one is somewhat unique as Zadar decided to take this in-game OOC message and ridicule to the forums as well.

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,78.msg109418.html#msg109418

Quote
So there is rumours that Coria will form new realm called Freakpot and yes it is the same freak in charge who wanted to create an new Empire. He even sent Infils against own people,against Royal. I really can't understand why others could let this kind of clown rule over them.   So Darka did get an puppet after all.

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3275.msg112413.html#msg112413

Quote
Hey Madlin,where is the war?

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,3275.msg112130.html#msg112130
Quote
Yes, you are right Silnaria and Tara has not ever been allies. So Silnaria isn't following Corias footsteps in anyway. One thing is sure and you cant twist that. Menedor is under Tara's banner and Silnaria tries to TO it.   Don't twist game mechanis bty saying that Tara took those regions. Couple ofLords did choose to change their allegiance to Tara instead of living under Silnaria and that madman. Of course Tara will try to protect those Nobles.  I heard a rumour that mindplague is coming from Freakpot.

Virgo Blue Star:
Quote
Out-of-Character from Virgo Blue Star   (29 days, 11 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (50 recipients)

I wish it were "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" to be honest. Haha imagine if the new nation was called "Falasan" the rps that would of flooded in.

Chris Jones

Archymond Paxwax:
Quote
Out-of-Character from Archymond Paxwax   (29 days, 8 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (50 recipients)
Couldn't agree more with Yangfan on this one!!

Merlin does a great job at manipulating his peers.....and the ones he doesn't succeed in manipulating he successfully replaces them from their positions and placing others loyal to him in their place! He would truly be a feared king!
Hopefully for all of us here and the free world as well, TH isn't or won't be holding any position of power within a real country anytime soon! :P

And Enri did do a terrific job at raising such a student...too bad it turned out to be an EVIL one! :P

Tiberiu Stanescu

Luthor Forbes:
Quote
Letter from Luthor Forbes   (15 days, 21 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (57 recipients)
Countess,

Since when did being in the same region as someone else make you guilty of a crime?

Perhaps it was a commoner that did not like the fact that his Lord decided to abandon Carelia. Or perhaps the songs and poetry were enough to move someone to violence. But there is no proof that these acts were done by the hand of Sir Escent.

At best what you have is circumstantial and not in any means enough for Causus Belli to try and murder someone in the night.

Luthor Forbes
Supreme Chancellor of Strombran

Quote
Letter from Luthor Forbes   (15 days, 20 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (57 recipients)
Must one be a noble to wield a dagger?

Luthor Forbes
Supreme Chancellor of Strombran

In Luthor's case he chooses to completely ignore game mechanics when stating that commoners can somehow become assassins just to make me look worse. Background: Escent was the only noble in the region besides the target but apparently this isn't enough evidence to prove he was the one who attacked just because he "didn't get caught".

The main takeaway from these things is that while not everyone's offense is on the same level, the protracted and repeated jabs based upon OOC messages, themes, and all targeting me makes for a very toxic atmosphere. And the harassment, at least from my point of view, is heavily against the Fair Play clause of the Social Contract.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 08:08:13 PM by Dante Silverfire »
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Dante Silverfire

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"This is the face of the man who has worked long and hard for the good of the people without caring much for any of them."

Eirikr

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Allow me to begin by saying that while I wasn't an obvious target of anything, I'd considered filing a Magistrates case on the topic myself. The only reason (apart from being busy with real life) I didn't do so was because I wasn't sure how to since much of this is walking the lines of what is acceptable (in my eyes). This case is going to be as clear as mud, but I hope something comes of it to push people back from that line. (It's like sticking in a "Keep Off the Grass" sign; people are leaning as far over it as they can without actually touching it.)

For the record, I have also been trying to calm things down via OOC letters. I am the "Sean" in the OOC notes. Enri's letter is referring to my concern over the large volume of OOC jokes about the realm name. (I'm aware that many players do not like OOC chatter at all, let alone 5-10 letters in about two hours.) The OOC response to Celestial's letter is referring to an OOC comment I made about the tone.

As I mentioned before I edited this, I have received most of these messages as well and I believe they do a fairly good job of detailing the problem at hand. It's most convenient for me to move through person by person as well:

Jason Elegant:
Considering how messy the last case was, I cannot believe he would run right back to pushing the envelope again. The story he presents is a fairly accurate description of the IC events surrounding the Phoenix Empire, but his choice of making his point strikes me as wrong on many levels:
  • The poor veiling of the story seems completely inappropriate for a medieval game, especially coming from a former ruler. He may as well be the stereotypical 12-year-old internet gamer. There are much better ways to make exactly the same point without leaving any doubt that this is a IC warning for the current political situation.
  • The follow-up to the story makes completely baseless assertions with just as thinly veiled threats against Merlin. Again, there are better ways of suggesting that Silnaria's current path could turn to war.
  • The choice of "Hammargays" can be considered offensive to homosexuals. If not, it isn't a stretch to say he intended to use it as an insult against Hammarsett.
Before the Phoenix Empire idea came out, I trusted Jason as a diplomatic savant. Although he didn't write often, he did write well. There has been a drastic change in his style since that situation, typically like the childish writing you see here. His complete disregard for the concern over his letter in the follow-up OOC gives me no faith in his ability to respect others.

Enri Kinsey:
Personally, I think Enri is much less at fault here. To me, the jokes on the realm's name are just standard fare and could be lighthearted. (After all, when the Caglian Empire was renamed the Mighty Caglian Empire, they were jokingly referred to as "MiCE".) Where he steps over the line is the assertion of ego in the naming and playing other characters like fiddles. Making such a statement OOC is essentially the same as claiming the rest of us are incapable of choosing to do something else. We all had our reasons for letting the motion pass; the only time when I see such large-scale support is when more players are actively thinking of how it can benefit their character. As Consul, I couldn't pass what I thought were obvious referendums to support without someone making a fuss... and still less than half of the potential votes got cast. Here, the same people would have likely made a fuss, but enough others stepped up to reach majority in less than a few days. Finally, the comment about game mechanics also struck me as off by the simple fact that it was un-solicited: Nobody had said anything about ignoring game mechanics or coming into conflict with them. Why suddenly make that statement when there were perfectly good IC options to try to paint Silnaria as being in rebellion?

Ottar Perkeleet:
In-game, his actions haven't been unreasonable (although they have been frustrating) on an IC level. It's known that Ottar (the character) has had a grudge against Merlin for some time, and I could understand a Dictator turning away messages from his least favorite neighbor. Out-of-game, Ottar is represented as Zadar on the forums. He's had some posts that looked suspicious, but I've generally dismissed them due to English not being his native tongue (the posts were usually misspelled or confusing). Recently, however, I've grown more worried; there have been several clearly OOC posts (already copied here) that come very close to personal attacks. There has also been a common theme of inaccurate representations of in-game events in the out-of-game forums presented as undeniable truths. It's one thing to joke about how the situation can be twisted (usually the twisting is obvious or stated), but posting it as fact is an attempt to delude those unfamiliar with the situation. After a "board game with friends", you talk about how bad your luck was, etc. because of how things turned out; you don't tell them that the cards were stuck together or the pieces fell off the board when everybody knows that never happened.

Celestial Fury:
Skipping, since the situation is essentially resolved.

Ivore Whiteblood:
Skipping; other than that one comment, his animosity has stayed IC.

Virgo Blue Star:
Also skipping; his character in Silnaria has had a very different tone from his character in the CE.

Archymond Paxwax:
Again, not much here, but it's another OOC assertion that Merlin's player is evil, specifically stating that TH (the player, not the character) would be a scary real-life ruler. It's not likely TH will become a leader of a real country (then again, how can we know that), but the insinuation is that he'd be a cutthroat in the job. Call Merlin evil IC all you want, but don't slap the label on the player as well.

Luthor Forbes:
He's in the clear as far as I'm concerned. I intentionally avoided the idea that those kinds of arguments are against the rules in my thread. (Otherwise, I would have put it in Questions and Answers.) I've been on both sides of the issue at various times and I feel like they're both valid views that fall apart with different examples. The infiltrator question is one of those that really is just a matter of opinion: If you are strict about RP and IC, the evidence is not definitive proof as presented by the game mechanics. If you believe that the game mechanics create a "pattern" of inherent character experience, that evidence is clear proof.

That thread was not started solely due to my interactions with Luthor. As I said, I've been on both sides of the fence and the question was lingering on my mind. I tried very hard to avoid making a direct connection to the incident, but was eventually devoid of other examples.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 03:28:57 AM by Eirikr »

Blue Star

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I saw one of my character names and came to take a look, OCC wise that's exactly what I said yup, I believe also I asked if in anyway did that mean silver fire, ya know some words mean different things and truly it could, was curious.

Regarding harassment on my part, I was making a joke referring to the name one because of the butter rebellion and because Barad Falas history of having a white rabbit, but now having a Silver/White Owl (see banner). If I as a player can not make a joke then that is disturbingly wrong. In no way was this a assault on TH.

Though I must speak on Luthor part, also. I find it personally reasonable for him to say such. A scout report shows that a person was in the region... it does not show that a assassin assaulted another noble. Yes, we as players can believe that it is true and that is what really took place, but if you are not in the region and their is simply no report of the guards seeing someone, cause Escent is that good, then how do you know it happened? Truly a issue regarding Infiltrators visible or invisible. Without looking at it from the player's prospective how can you fathom that that is actually what happened?

Regarding the issue I believe Eirikr himself set up a thread regarding this issue and it is a in high contention, so I do not believe that needs to be brought up, then again it isn't my call. Just my 2 cent
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Geronus

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Regarding harassment on my part, I was making a joke referring to the name one because of the butter rebellion and because Barad Falas history of having a white rabbit, but now having a Silver/White Owl (see banner). If I as a player can not make a joke then that is disturbingly wrong. In no way was this a assault on TH.

Though I must speak on Luthor part, also. I find it personally reasonable for him to say such. A scout report shows that a person was in the region... it does not show that a assassin assaulted another noble. Yes, we as players can believe that it is true and that is what really took place, but if you are not in the region and their is simply no report of the guards seeing someone, cause Escent is that good, then how do you know it happened? Truly a issue regarding Infiltrators visible or invisible. Without looking at it from the player's prospective how can you fathom that that is actually what happened?

Regarding the issue I believe Eirikr himself set up a thread regarding this issue and it is a in high contention, so I do not believe that needs to be brought up, then again it isn't my call. Just my 2 cent

Thanks for your input. I tend to agree on both of your points.

Let's all avoid the infiltrator question, shall we? It is questionable whether that can really be considered to be harassment since it's basically just your standard IC reaction to one of your infiltrators being accused of something. If you want to protect him, deny everything and blame it all on someone else. Nothing strange or malicious about that in any OOC sense whatsoever. As Bluestar says, please refer to Eirikr's thread on this topic if you are interested in discussing it. It can be found here:

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4387.0.html

Dante Silverfire

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I saw one of my character names and came to take a look, OCC wise that's exactly what I said yup, I believe also I asked if in anyway did that mean silver fire, ya know some words mean different things and truly it could, was curious.

Regarding harassment on my part, I was making a joke referring to the name one because of the butter rebellion and because Barad Falas history of having a white rabbit, but now having a Silver/White Owl (see banner). If I as a player can not make a joke then that is disturbingly wrong. In no way was this a assault on TH.

I don't believe you intended harassment or assault on me in any way. (Mainly due to other letters I had received from you around that time OOC through your other char) The reason for your inclusion on this list was because your letters while not intended to do such, helped create an environment where through OOC messages the realm of Silnaria was made to be turned into a "Joke."

I personally don't believe OOC chatter like this is healthy purposefully because it leads to later reactions and discussion as demonstrated elsewhere in the quoted letters. The Butter Rebellion was one in which essentially the entire continent quickly turned on and destroyed a realm. That is certainly not something that I want my realm associated with through OOC discussion for all to see, regardless of what first-hand knowledge their characters have.

In conclusion, the main reason for your letter's inclusion was for further evidence, but I do think such chatter needs to be cut down on. However, more than a warning for your one related message would be absurd. Also, an additional caveat is that this wouldn't have been an issue in private correspondence, as much as correspondence that is sent to a wide audience of players.
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Vellos

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Let's all avoid the infiltrator question, shall we? It is questionable whether that can really be considered to be harassment since it's basically just your standard IC reaction to one of your infiltrators being accused of something. If you want to protect him, deny everything and blame it all on someone else. Nothing strange or malicious about that in any OOC sense whatsoever. As Bluestar says, please refer to Eirikr's thread on this topic if you are interested in discussing it. It can be found here:

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4387.0.html

I second this, let's stay far away from the question about infils and such. Tim and I just had our monthly RP v. Mechanics feud, we're not on schedule for another (especially on the same topic) for a few weeks at least.
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Sacha

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This case is flimsy at best. For starters, I don't see them insulting any players, just characters and realms. Most of it seems to be in jest. I hardly think this is a toxic atmosphere. Sure, Merlin/Silnaria are getting a ton of flak IC, but that's the game. To say it with a meme, "If you throw a monkey wrench in the Cagilan program, you're gonna have a bad time". Maybe Zadar's comments on the forum are a bit too much, but then again, if we're to punish everyone who gets a bit heated in here, we'd do nothing else.

Eirikr

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I have finally added my two cents; see the above post.

From where I stand, the situation on Atamara has been very tense and comes in waves of extremes, but each time the wave is worse. The problem is that everything seems to be circulating back into itself... those cited in this case are not the only ones to blame, though they are the ones relevant to TH's specific case. If you look in the Atamara forum, you can see posts from Darka, the CE, etc. going back and forth with unnecessary insults and attacks. Myself and others have tried to calm the situation down, but it's not been effective. Some have given up and resorted to "counter-trolling".

Sacha, I agree that the case appears weak, but I ask that the duration of this problem be given some thought. This is far from a new problem. Several players have expressed discomfort at the "jests" over the past months (if not years), yet nothing has changed. Those implicated (on both sides) have been playing for years; they know where the line is and have decided to walk right along it. This case will decide whether or not we want to encourage testing the boundaries or make everyone take a step back again. The Magistrates on this case are essentially deciding the difference between "laughing with you" and "laughing at you"... will barely hiding the behavior be consistently good enough to escape punishment?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2013, 03:57:12 AM by Eirikr »

Gustav Kuriga

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This case is flimsy at best. For starters, I don't see them insulting any players, just characters and realms. Most of it seems to be in jest. I hardly think this is a toxic atmosphere. Sure, Merlin/Silnaria are getting a ton of flak IC, but that's the game. To say it with a meme, "If you throw a monkey wrench in the Cagilan program, you're gonna have a bad time". Maybe Zadar's comments on the forum are a bit too much, but then again, if we're to punish everyone who gets a bit heated in here, we'd do nothing else.

The argument that they aren't insulting a player rather than a character is flimsy at best. They plainly make fun of the realm's name in an OOC nature, which makes things much more personal. Besides, a realm's name is made by the player who creates it, and so making fun of it is personally attacking him, not the character. By the way Sacha, every one of those messages provided in the evidence post is OOC besides one or two, so that's not "the game". That's OOC.

Munro

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I don't often post on the forums these days but since the case against myself I've obviously been checking them more of late.

 Firstly I'd just like to say that I've played with TH for many RL years now and in that time I've only ever known him to be a genuinely nice and understanding person on an OOC level and I'd certainly be disappointed to see him insulted on an OOC level. 

Some of the letters are pushing the boundaries but Atamara is not SMA. Also taking a step back I have to remind myself that the majority here are actually adults because seriously has this what BM has become?

That being said I'd have liked to see TH send an OOC letter stating that he felt the situation was becoming personal and would appreciate people backing off a little before filing a magistrates case as this situation could easily be avoided. A lot of flak Merlin is getting is because he did something cool but pushed the boundaries.  It's important to distinguish angry characters and angry players. This is the difficulty here.

Geronus

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For starters, I will recuse myself from voting on this since I have characters in both Silnaria and CE.

I tend to agree with Sacha that all of this, even taken together, is a borderline non-issue. It's really not that bad, especially when you look at some of the other Social Contract cases we've had recently. This isn't all that toxic by comparison. I would be willing to go so far as to admit that there might be a touch of unpleasantness in some of the indicated players' attitudes, but it's hardly crossing the line, it's just got a bit of a sharp edge to it.

Honestly I think everyone involved just needs to take a chill pill and stop making things so personal. Some of the Darkan and Cagilan players have really gotten nasty with each other a couple times here on the forum recently. I get that there's plenty of IC bad blood there, but why make it bad blood between the players? That's uncalled for. It's just a game. Maybe the biggest reason to step back and take a deep breath? How about this thread:

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4428.0.html

Vellos

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I'm inclined to agree that there's no case here.

Or, if these is, we need to go back and slap some people for the Farronite Repubic jokes.
"A neutral humanism is either a pedantic artifice or a prologue to the inhuman." - George Steiner

GoldPanda

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These allegations are so frivolous that they are not worth responding to. However, out of respect for both TH and Sean, I will say something in my defense:

OOC insults toward a realm name:
Imho, realm names are IC constructs and are fair game for OOC criticism and OOC satire. I thought the jokes about both "MiCE" and "Silnarnia" were fair hits and quite funny. And after all these years, I still can't believe it's not butter.

OOC insults toward a noble:
Imho, nobles are IC constructs and are fair game for OOC criticism and OOC satire. I assert my right to OOCly call Merlin a Machiavellian bastard if I want to. Every story needs a good villain. One of the charms of BM is that everyone can call the other side's nobles the villains in the story. And heck, maybe they're all correct. Cagilans are imperialistic puppet-masters. Darkans are mercenary scum. Redspaniards have inappropriate relationships with their goats. Ottar is a bully. Merlin is a weasel. KKC likes to sacrifice little boys to the volcano (or so I've heard). I know of no saints on Atamara. Making up horrible stories about other nobles is FUN, dammit, and you shouldn't take it personally. They are not you.

The "fiddles" comment:
That was honestly meant to be a compliment to both TH the player and Merlin the noble. I consider being able to "play your nobles like fiddles" to be a good quality for a Ruler to have. It's a reasonable assumption that Merlin somehow bribed or persuaded a majority of the Senate to play along with his schemes. However, even if I were to stand on top of a soapbox and shout, "Silnaria is full of sheeple! SHEEPLE!" You still can't call that an OOC insult toward fellow players. I'd only be insulting nobles.

TH certainly did not seem insulted by the "fiddles" comment at the time:
Quote
Out-of-Character from Merlin Silverfire   (29 days, 23 hours ago)
Thank you mate!

It's all good. Merlin will just blame all of his "failings" on your teachings as well.
TH

"Game mechanics trump RP":
Ugh. I wouldn't have brought it up at all, had I realized that it was controversial even among the Devs. Anyway, if "an attempt to use OOC messages to convince people that the IC discussion is rightfully in their favor" is a crime, then I respectfully request that TH get in the defendant's box with me.

Quote
Out-of-Character from Merlin Silverfire   (16 days, 13 hours ago)
Message sent to everyone in "League of the Eagle" (56 recipients)
Well if Game Mechanics trump RP, then Coria is game mechanically dead. It can't game mechanically gain a capital anymore, and so it is dead.

So game mechanically stop RP'ing characters into making stuff up.
TH

Look, I realize that this is a game, and that people are here to have fun, not to have their egos stomped on. I make reasonable efforts to not offend people, just like I make reasonable efforts to shrug it off when other people offend me. However, I draw the line at following the rules and being reasonable. I refuse to walk on eggshells when I'm just trying to relax and play a game. If me making fun of your realm name, or insulting your noble, offends you, then please, feel free to put me on your ignore list. I would not be offended; I promise.

And if you can show me evidence that I've been unfair to you as a player, Solari/Aaron can tell you that I'm not too proud to apologize. I do not see any evidence that this was the case here. All I see are a bunch of month-old IC messages, and some OOC back-handed compliments at Merlin, and not a single insult or aggressive message toward TH the player.

While it is normal to become emotionally attached to your nobles, I respectfully suggest that TH is going a little overboard here.

In all honesty, these allegations are so frivolous, that I believe TH owes some of us a public apology. I may sound calm, but I am actually quite angry at TH right now. What the heck man. I thought you were my friend.
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qui audet vincit