Author Topic: Punishments in cases of harassment  (Read 5608 times)

Geronus

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Punishments in cases of harassment
« Topic Start: July 29, 2013, 06:36:51 PM »
I am opening this thread in response to criticism of the verdict in the Use of Rumour and personal information on irc, in forums, ingame and other places like skype and fac case:

http://forum.battlemaster.org/index.php/topic,4420.0.html

What I would be interested in is hearing what else those who believe this verdict was too lenient think should have been done. Please note that a permanent account lock is not something that we can apply without approval from Tom. Such a punishment has been referred to by Tom as the worst thing that we can do to a player, and to my knowledge it has only ever been used against multi-cheaters in the history of this game. Given the severity of such a punishment, I would say that it's not something we would consider applying except under the most extreme and unusual of circumstances. To do it for a first offense is therefore probably out of the question.

So, what else should be done in cases of harassment? Please note that our standard options at this time include only warnings (public or private), account locks of up to 3 days, and stripping of titles which can be applied to any or all characters on an account and also bars those characters from regaining the same positions for two weeks (the Devs extended the time in this case). If you feel other options should be added, please feel free to make suggestions, but keep them reasonable and to the point.

Please try to express your thoughts in a neutral or hypothetical context. I don't want to re-litigate the case that this topic stems from.

nanakisan

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #1: July 29, 2013, 07:14:39 PM »
While the loss of Jason was extremely tragic. I actually believed the punishment was appropriate, given the tight parameters the magistrates have to work with. lately EI has seen some incredibly good IC developments of which i'm not disclosing. Even a new RP has started in Caligus. The realm is becoming stable with the new king. Along with many things its dying down again. So yeah i think the 3 day removal of atanamir from the game was sufficient to air out the room.
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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #2: July 29, 2013, 07:17:40 PM »
I think some people wanted the duke/lordships stripped as well, perhaps add that on to the standard title strip, or possibly as an additional option (although I know that there are probably limits to how many votes the Magistrates want to hold).

Geronus

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #3: July 29, 2013, 07:50:24 PM »
I think some people wanted the duke/lordships stripped as well, perhaps add that on to the standard title strip, or possibly as an additional option (although I know that there are probably limits to how many votes the Magistrates want to hold).

It is a standard option to strip as many or as few titles as we want from each character attached to an account. There were two factors at work here that led to the current situation in Perdan:

1. His character who was a Duke at the time of the ruling was not King.

2. His character who was King, was not a Duke.

Since the ruling, the character who was King became a Duke; had he been one at the time I applied the punishment, I would have stripped those titles as well but he didn't have them then, so it's a moot point.

Dante Silverfire

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #4: July 29, 2013, 09:19:09 PM »
Please note that a permanent account lock is not something that we can apply without approval from Tom. Such a punishment has been referred to by Tom as the worst thing that we can do to a player, and to my knowledge it has only ever been used against multi-cheaters in the history of this game. Given the severity of such a punishment, I would say that it's not something we would consider applying except under the most extreme and unusual of circumstances. To do it for a first offense is therefore probably out of the question.

My question is: What crime is worse than driving players away from the game?

Harassment can do that just as easily as multi-cheating if not more so. If your personal actions drive away players from the game because you are breaking the rules in some manner, then in my opinion you deserve the harshest punishments possible. If that requires Tom's personal approval, then that shouldn't stop the Magistrates from ruling on that, and requesting Tom to take that action.

At the very minimum, titles ought to be stripped and banned from receiving them for X amount of time. Temporary account locks for less than a week are seemingly meaningless punishments in my opinion, and are essentially warnings.
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Geronus

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #5: July 29, 2013, 09:44:00 PM »
My question is: What crime is worse than driving players away from the game?

Harassment can do that just as easily as multi-cheating if not more so. If your personal actions drive away players from the game because you are breaking the rules in some manner, then in my opinion you deserve the harshest punishments possible. If that requires Tom's personal approval, then that shouldn't stop the Magistrates from ruling on that, and requesting Tom to take that action.

If Tom's willing to consider it, then so will we. But until he says something one way or another, permanent account locks are not on the table as a routine punishment, even for something as serious as harassment.

Beyond this narrow question of how Tom would view such a punishment option, I also would have reservations about using it for all but the most clear-cut of harassment cases. These tend to be highly subjective, contextual, and subject to disputing interpretations as it is. Using such a harsh punishment in cases that tend to have significant shades of grey could very easily lead to injustice being done.

At the very minimum, titles ought to be stripped and banned from receiving them for X amount of time.

This is exactly what we did. The ban only applies if a position is actually stripped however, so in the case that led to this thread, the affected character was able to gain a type of position that he had not held prior to the punishment being applied because it was never stripped in the first place. That said, he will not be able to regain any of his previously held titles for at least 30 days.

As a general response to this point, which titles should be stripped? As I mentioned, we do have the ability to strip as many or as few titles as we want from each character on any given account. In the prior case, we chose to strip just one character, because it was felt that it was that character and his goals/responsibilities which led the player to do what he did, but in theory we could have stripped them all, from every single character on his account. That doesn't seem just to me, but I'm still curious as to what people think about how we should use this option in the future.

Temporary account locks for less than a week are seemingly meaningless punishments in my opinion, and are essentially warnings.

We considered locking the account for a week (which would have required special Dev assistance), but the vote was ultimately for a 3-day lock. Three days is still a long time, however. A lot can happen in three days that is detrimental to your characters, let alone an entire week. I went away this weekend and lost a whole unit on one character, while missing the chance to influence some rather important political developments on two more.

What makes a week so much better than three days? This is a serious question. I would like opinions about the efficacy of locks as punishments and whether we need to add options for longer locks, or possibly replace the mechanic altogether.

Geronus

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #6: July 29, 2013, 09:49:58 PM »
stuff

We do not have the ability to admin Q&A threads, but I have reported your post to the mods as I feel it violated the guidelines I am trying to set for this discussion. Please focus on whether the applied punishment fit the infraction and on what might be done to better handle harassment verdicts in the future including commentary on our existing punishment options, not on what has already transpired as a result of the related case or the details of that case.

Dante Silverfire

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #7: July 29, 2013, 09:51:49 PM »
What makes a week so much better than three days? This is a serious question. I would like opinions about the efficacy of locks as punishments and whether we need to add options for longer locks, or possibly replace the mechanic altogether.

A week is better than three days, because there are no game-mechanic downsides for a three-day lock. However, with a week long lock, you will lose all of your government and lordship positions. You won't be banned from them, but you will temporarily lose them due to inactivity. Can you regain them? Sure. But, it means that that particular character has enough trust from his realm-mates even following the punishment, to regain that position. In such a case, he would deserve to regain them.

If you are gone for three days, a lot can happen. Or, nothing can happen. I've been gone three days before and missed 200 messages. I've been gone three days and missed 10. A three day lock sends a message to a single player that their actions are something to reconsider. A week long lock sends a message to every player that interactions with that person's characters, that certain things aren't tolerated.

The question is, do you want just one person to change, or do you want to preemptively make sure abuses such as harassment don't occur in the future from others?
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jaune

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #8: July 29, 2013, 09:53:27 PM »
I just dont get this...
I would somehow understand that people want harder punishments, if in this particular case, "guilty" part would laugh or insult magistrates or continue harassment.

If someone makes a mistake, admits it, apologizes and never does it again... + all this hazzle around the issue.

What diffrence you think harder punishment would do? Now THIS hunting is starting to smell like OOC harassment...
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Dante Silverfire

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #9: July 29, 2013, 09:59:05 PM »
I just dont get this...
I would somehow understand that people want harder punishments, if in this particular case, "guilty" part would laugh or insult magistrates or continue harassment.

If someone makes a mistake, admits it, apologizes and never does it again... + all this hazzle around the issue.

What diffrence you think harder punishment would do? Now THIS hunting is starting to smell like OOC harassment...

I don't know any of the details of this case, so if you're accusing me of such, it is misplaced. I am simply commenting on the fact that for a while now I have felt that the lack of harsh punishments is undermining the Social Contract and IR's.

So, I'm giving my recommendations on "in general" as it seems that this question is worded.
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nanakisan

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #10: July 29, 2013, 10:03:19 PM »
There are other methods outside of a in-game lock that might prove effective. If the player in question is of such detriment to the realm or heck the Islands game play in general. Then he should be exiled from the island indefinitely. A additional course of action would be the route of fining him travel expenses for his characters relocation to another island. Reset their honor and Prestige, heck even going as far as taking fame points away from the player themselves. Taking away someones long worked for achievements stings harder then a permanent ban.
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Geronus

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #11: July 29, 2013, 10:05:00 PM »
A week is better than three days, because there are no game-mechanic downsides for a three-day lock. However, with a week long lock, you will lose all of your government and lordship positions. You won't be banned from them, but you will temporarily lose them due to inactivity. Can you regain them? Sure. But, it means that that particular character has enough trust from his realm-mates even following the punishment, to regain that position. In such a case, he would deserve to regain them.

If removing their titles was our goal, I think I'd rather just use our ability to strip titles. If that's what we were after, I wouldn't want them to be able to regain them so easily; that would negate the point of doing it in the first place.

The question is, do you want just one person to change, or do you want to preemptively make sure abuses such as harassment don't occur in the future from others?

I understand this point, but to make an effective example we would need to have a very strong case, one that would be beyond dispute. I think that's an exceptionally high bar to meet when it comes to harassment.

Geronus

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #12: July 29, 2013, 10:08:03 PM »
There are other methods outside of a in-game lock that might prove effective. If the player in question is of such detriment to the realm or heck the Islands game play in general. Then he should be exiled from the island indefinitely. A additional course of action would be the route of fining him travel expenses for his characters relocation to another island. Reset their honor and Prestige, heck even going as far as taking fame points away from the player themselves. Taking away someones long worked for achievements stings harder then a permanent ban.

Stripping titles is a way of taking away (some) of someone's achievements. I don't think we'd want to mess with fame, as I doubt that it is technically easy to do what you're suggesting, but I'll let the Devs correct me if they think it's a good idea.

As far as deportation goes, well that is something we could consider. There is one previous instance where it was used in a case, and there have been a few other occasions when is is something I would have considered using.

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #13: July 29, 2013, 10:29:30 PM »
Force-pausing one or more characters.

Geronus

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Re: Punishments in cases of harassment
« Reply #14: July 29, 2013, 10:33:40 PM »
Force-pausing one or more characters.

Interesting... For how long? And should the affected player get the character slot back to use somewhere else (or even to remake a new character in the same realm)?