Deleted Thread

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
No doubt this will be deleted, and my forum account banned from posting, before anyone sees it but I may as well try.

Anyone going to explain why my previous poll was deleted, is there a rule against the community having a voice?

JS93122896_Nick-Edwards_Protesters-rally-outside-the-National-Union-of-Students-HQ-in-London-t...jpg
 

Brian the Messiah

Active Member
Reaction score
56
Regardless of the community feeling on your poll(to post ban reasons and offences) we cannot do this for a number of reasons, one being privacy and 2, we just can't reveal our internal guidelines regarding account punishments. if you follow the rules, you wont have to worry about the internal guidelines regarding punishments.
 

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
Why can't you have a public debate about this, without trying to silence things. As you're no doubt comfortable with what you're doing there should be nothing to hide? (If my wording sounds like I'm implying anything, that isn't my intention).

On your privacy point aren't player account names just that, whatever people want to call themselves? There are no identifying features there so I don't understand why protecting the privacy of, for example, "Sheepman" could be an issue?

Why can't these guidelines be made public? Why is everything shrouded in secrecy? The only effect of this is no one is happy with the outcome, imagine if the sentencing guidelines for shoplifting were secret, the community (the people who pay the taxes to keep the lights on) would be rioting in the streets about it.

"We just can't do it" could be construed as something to hide. Who says you can't do it, someone must have taken that decision?
 

Mozart.GR

New Member
Reaction score
0
interesting discussion.

I would very much like to see answers and say my opinion at the end.
 

Brian the Messiah

Active Member
Reaction score
56
We do not share the internal guidelines as there is potential for players to abuse those guidelines, different offences carry different penalties, depending on the severity.
 

Damacsta

Member
Reaction score
37
On your privacy point aren't player account names just that, whatever people want to call themselves? There are no identifying features there so I don't understand why protecting the privacy of, for example, "Sheepman" could be an issue?
Easy, harassment.
Imagine if you were banned and the ban reason, appeal process and other logs were revealed? It would just lead to harassment.

All too often discussions in this forum devolve into ego bashing, name calling, and digging up stats from previous worlds. Now add into the mix publicized ban logs and things just get worse. Even if the ban is lifted, they'll be held over a players head for ages.

Although inno would probs make even more money from name changes then :p

Why can't these guidelines be made public? Why is everything shrouded in secrecy?
If internal guidelines are revealed, it opens up the ability for players to work around them, or lie their way around them to avoid a ban. Keeping them secret prevents this (mostly).

The way things are handled currently, and reasons given by the messiah are fairly typical across games. Can you think of a game where this is handled differently?
 

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
Brian says above "on your poll(to post ban reasons and offences)".

I think this neatly encapsulates my point about the mods not listening to the community. That was not what the poll was about at all, the poll was titled "are you happy with the current transparency of moderation". This was deliberately posted with no leading question, in fact I put the answer I personally didn't answer with as the top option (despite this having a minor effect on boosting it's vote share, ask the electoral commission about referendums).

As no one explained which written rules this poll and subsequent post broke maybe we can go and get this reinstated from the deleted/archive? This external forum is practically dead, yet there was votes there (no, I didn't know who half the voters were, I didn't ask them all too) so the subject is clearly in the community interest.

Damacsta makes some good points / asks some important questions. I did post my suggested solution in the deleted thread and then we could have debated them. Should I repeat my earlier suggested solution, I'm keen to receive constructive input on it as I'm sure it could be refined for the better.

In the meantime I would ask Damacsta:
When people break the rules this is cheating. Currently when an account receives a sanction the whole game world knows (villages deleted, perma bans, etc.).
Are they not going to be harassed by rumours anyway?
What would a short note saying "X used push account" or "Y has illegal script/bot installed" etc. change?
 

Jimkurmi

Active Member
Reaction score
97
Just that Sheepman, people get banned for a variety of reasons. Rumours are always there, we made jokes regarding former bans on w54 but we don't know what the actual reason was. There are thousands of players and providing a ban isn't permanent, its nice for some people to learn from potential mistakes and continue on a game name they have made friends with.

It's not helpful to debate because some players morals are there and some aren't. Why Tarnish forever someone's account name over a push account in public? When as now it is kept private and only rumoured, so the next world may come along they have learned from it.

Personally feel the moderation here is good. Especially as its voluntary, there is enough work with support tickets and back and forth with players in a support capacity that adding extra work is not feasible or needed.

Stay within the rules, most people do and these aren't conversations that need to happen.
 

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
Jim - Thanks for being constructive. It's nice the forums actually having some sensible, adult debate for once.

You agree with the current system, we are entitled to have different opinions; that's completely normal. It would be nice to get a view of the whole communities split on this (maybe via a poll?). If "I'm happy with the current system" is the overwhelming winner in a poll then I'll just get back in my box.

I expect players who have played on multiple worlds have, at some point, been left with a lot of questions. Imagine if an account is banned on W55 and the court of public opinion/rumour mill decides beyond doubt it was an unforgivable breach and no one wants to play on a team with that account ever again, when in fact it was a minor and/or unintentional breach and easily forgivable, mistakes are made.

These things can go both ways and the current lack of transparency and accountability creates more problems than it solves.

The mods line that "if you stay within the rules this won't affect you" isn't really true. If affects the world's we play on and invest time and money into, if things appear unfair then people have a right to be angry. I've stressed repeatedly I'm not saying there is any unfairness, just that people aren't happy with the current system and it's going to kill off what's left of the .uk server as the communityy votes with their feet.
 

Marcus the Mad

Senior Forum General
Staff member
Administrator
Reaction score
111
Where to begin.

A poll is unfortunately not a good option in this case, it being on 'these' forums, they are heavily dependent on who is actually using them. A lot of players don't actually use the forum, this poll of yours is not about the forum moderation as far as I can tell. As such it would not speak for the community as a whole.
We also have to take into account people who use multiple accounts & forum accounts for whatever reason, they could cause the results to be non-representative.

Nicknames are subject to privacy regulations as they identify a person/user/player who is entitled to privacy. Every player has the right to their privacy and dignity. It's a very short step going from "transparency" to "public shaming" and worse.

There is also no real use to publicly saying person "y" did this and got this punishment. If people start shunning person "y" he/she can simply create a new account for future use. You'd be none the wiser and as such this is irrelevant to know.
Worse, people will start to weigh the benefits/costs and try to skirt the rules (see below) and if enough people are impacted by 'bad skirting' the servers would need a rollback rather than a simple punishment for this behaviour, this would also impact a lot of innocent people who had nothing to do with things.

On the transparency of moderation it is quite simple: People who have the technical know-how and are able to skirt the rules will most definitely do so and people who are less able will suffer. The game will turn into "who can skirt the rules best" rather than "who can play the game best". Moderation itself is moderated and the community manager can and will investigate whenever complaints about a moderators conduct/decisions are voiced.
 

cowley09

New Member
Reaction score
0
curious Q, do u link previous breaches off different servers .net etc? when deciding or all independent from each other? and work off a blank canvas?
 

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
To the mods who have replied - It is appreciated you guys putting the time and effort in to answering these questions.
I firmly believe there is a significant amount of people who are thoroughly hacked off with the current system and some reasonable explanations from you might be all it takes to salve any current feelings. It really isn't that hard to have a grown up debate about things, in the interests of improving the .uk server, which I think everyone would agree is a laudable goal.

"A poll is unfortunately not a good option in this case, it being on 'these' forums, they are heavily dependent on who is actually using them. A lot of players don't actually use the forum, this poll of yours is not about the forum moderation as far as I can tell. As such it would not speak for the community as a whole. We also have to take into account people who use multiple accounts & forum accounts for whatever reason, they could cause the results to be non-representative."
I appreciate these forums are not, erm, 'heavy on traffic'. Why don't you guys run a representative poll? I think people would appreciate being given a chance to give their views and be listened to. Maybe I'm in the minority who are unhappy and after the results I'd happily apologise to you all.
As for multi-accouters, I'm afraid that's a canard, if 30% of people vote twice because they have two logins then it won't skew the results. Some of the 30% will vote one way and some the other, meaning the percentage results will stay broadly the same.

"Nicknames are subject to privacy regulations as they identify a person/user/player who is entitled to privacy. Every player has the right to their privacy and dignity. It's a very short step going from "transparency" to "public shaming" and worse."
First of all on a technical level I believe both UK & EU (i.e. GDPR, although I don't know if that's still in force from 1 Jan) privacy regulations only apply to 'natural persons'. "Sheepman" isn't a natural person, merely an online persona, there is no way to identify who I am and "Sheepman" cannot rely on privacy regulations. I don't claim to be an expert so I could well be wrong on this.
Secondly I do not think I have ever suggested that any account should be "named and shamed", although I did admit it could well be worked out in some cases. In fact I said the opposite, I'd quote myself from the poll thread but it was deleted despite, as far as I can tell, breaking no rules.

"people will start to weigh the benefits/costs and try to skirt the rules"
I expect this already happens. If some people spot a chance to gain a huge advantage and think they have a <1% chance of being caught then some people would take the risk, everyone is different and individuals have a huge range of personal morality.

"On the transparency of moderation it is quite simple: People who have the technical know-how and are able to skirt the rules will most definitely do so and people who are less able will suffer. The game will turn into "who can skirt the rules best" rather than "who can play the game best"."
The rules are already laid out, if people want to try and skirt them they can. If the internal guidelines (outlining the punishments for certain breaches) and the punishments actually handed out were published I don't understand what difference this would make.
I'm not suggesting you start laying out what tools you use to catch rule breaches.
If it was published and everyone saw you got a slap on the wrist (i.e. 24 hour ban) for breaching a certain rule, despite you gaining a huge in game advantage and subsequently started breaking that rule I'm sure you could update the punishment to fit the crime. Currently those who do skirt the rules have an advantage under the current system as they're tried to bend the rules in the past and found on a cost/benefit basis breaching this particular rule is worth it they're gonna keep doing it.

"Moderation itself is moderated and the community manager can and will investigate whenever complaints about a moderators conduct/decisions are voiced."
When my central point is there isn't sufficient transparency having an additional opaque process isn't going to solve what I perceive is a serious issue.


Cowley09 (who as far as I'm aware I don't know) asks above about punishments across different servers. I'd ask a similar question, are people who breach the rules on multiple .uk game world's treated the same for the second, third etc. offence?


An additional question would be do the 'internal guidelines' make any reference to the punishment fitting the crime? i.e. that at the very least any advantage gained from rule breaches is wiped out. If I run a bot that farms for me during the night (I assume this is illegal) this would be a huge advantage in the start up period, if this was caught 3 months into the game world and I was punished with a 10% points reduction wouldn't this encourage everyone to run this bot, as the advantage gained would massively outweigh the punishment received?
 

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
I missed one.

"There is also no real use to publicly saying person "y" did this and got this punishment. If people start shunning person "y" he/she can simply create a new account for future use. You'd be none the wiser and as such this is irrelevant to know."
Wasn't it previously argued that naming and shaming would make people pariahs, and this was a reason to not do it?
My point, which I'm going to keep banging on about, is that the nature of rule breaches and the punishment handed out should be publicised, in the interests of transparency, so people can see that the game they invest significant time and money in is fair.

People will simply vote with their feet and their wallets if they perceive, right or wrongly, that the .uk servers aren't fair and I don't want that to happen.
 

Marcus the Mad

Senior Forum General
Staff member
Administrator
Reaction score
111
Naming and shaming / the ability to change name do contradict each other, I agree with that. However the first part is the legal stuff, as TW is subject to german law and its regulations:

1614280528762.png

We - as moderators - and Innogames GmbH - as a company with your information on hand - are held responsible to guard your right of privacy and so forth. Not giving out this sort of information is fairly basic: there are rules written, if you follow them, you won't get into trouble (believe me for a second here) and as such, the info of who broke the rules and the following punishment is not considered vital enough information in order to break what is considered a private matter.
 

Sheepman

New Member
Reaction score
0
I'm not really sure why we're having detailed discussions about privacy law in the German state of Hamburg. To reiterate I have never suggested the accounts are named. I may disagree with your point above regarding privacy under German law but it's irrelevant when it is an answer to a suggestion I have never made (and I'm not a specialist on German Privacy law so would just be guessing what it does/doesn't cover anyway); I think we're better off moving on to the unanswered questions.

Still outstanding questions include:
Are people who breach the rules on multiple .uk game world's treated the same for the second, third etc. offence?

If I run a bot that farms for me during the night (I assume this is illegal) this would be a huge advantage in the start up period, if this was caught 3 months into the game world and I was punished with a 10% points reduction wouldn't this encourage everyone to run this bot, as the advantage gained would massively outweigh the punishment received?

We, the players, can see when certain sanctions are handed out and to what accounts. "This player has been banned and cannot be attack or supported" is a bit of a giveaway, along with players losing a percentage of their points via villages they previously owned turning barbarian. We know these accounts have been sanctioned for breaking the rules.
Are you telling me a dozen word update to the T&C's/rules or similar that says "the details of all rule breaches and subsequent sanctions may be published anonymously" isn't possible? Isn't the point of getting people to agree to the T&C's so that you can enforce them?

I'm sure the mods can see the number of new/returning players/accounts who join each game world. While I expect there was a spike last Spring I can guess the direction of travel on the .uk server. If you want to ignore the canary in the coalmine making serious but constructive criticisms; along with perfectly sensible suggestions on how to improve the game then you can. All I can do it reiterate the community will eventually vote with their feet and wallets; then the .uk server will go the same way as many other country specific TW servers have in the past.
 

Damacsta

Member
Reaction score
37
On your privacy point aren't player account names just that, whatever people want to call themselves? There are no identifying features there so I don't understand why protecting the privacy of, for example, "Sheepman" could be an issue?
You did seem to advocate for it not mattering if the account names are revealed earlier on, but I guess you've dropped that point now?

What I'm confused about, is what problem is this change and extra work addressing?
You've mentioned you believe there needs to be more visibility on how bans are carried out, but WHY?
It's clear the more players know, the more they will try and work around things, or use previous cases to their benefit in looking for ways to dodge punishments.

What big shift are you expecting to see from this change that will 'save the server'.

And of course, why does this outweight the spotlight it's going to place on banned accounts.

In the meantime I would ask Damacsta:
When people break the rules this is cheating. Currently when an account receives a sanction the whole game world knows (villages deleted, perma bans, etc.).
Are they not going to be harassed by rumours anyway?
It's just rumours and guesswork, ultimately these will fade from peoples memories, and generally it's only their neighbours that notice anyway. Unless they're a top account, the server doesn't really take notice.

This is very different to what you suggest by putting them on blast on the forums, and creating a permanent record.
If you put the spotlight on it, and release logs onto the forum, people can begin to guess or work out who the anonymous user is. So why do you see such a strong need for a public flogging?

Do other, more popular TW servers or innogame games do this? I still can't think of any other popular game that does this. So why will it save the server?

What would a short note saying "X used push account" or "Y has illegal script/bot installed" etc. change?
Harassment, people now have some facts to go off.

But it's a good question to bounce back at you as well, why do you think this is needed, what would it change? What issue does it solve, and why should the dev's code in a function to do this/why should the mods add this to the notes each time?

The rules are already laid out, if people want to try and skirt them they can. If the internal guidelines (outlining the punishments for certain breaches) and the punishments actually handed out were published I don't understand what difference this would make.
This is an interesting one. It's clear that the rules are a general 'break this and you get banned'. However, the rules are generalized, and not every case is black and white.
A good one is push accounts.

Here's the ruling:
Creating and/or using one or more accounts for the primary benefit of another account ("pushing"), as well as profiting from such behavior, is forbidden.

But there's always the question of, when is it pushing, and when is it two people working together?

Imagine if the internal guidelines were released for this? The general player would then have a precise playbook on how much they could get away with, in pushing their friend, without getting caught.
At least currently it's a bit vague to dissuade anyone from trying.