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The Disciplinary Process
#31
(03-22-2013, 11:33 AM)SachikoMaeda Wrote: People should have a method to contact GMs away from rules to where their off game logs aren't used against them or aren't circulated unless they give permission. I've heard of circumstances where something said out of game and off the forums in some IM being used against them. Unless it's an official CotH channel that shouldn't be cool.

We've had this moral dilemma many times in the past. Let me pose a situation for you to consider:

Player A and Player B both play on CotH and met on CotH. Player A begins to harass and stalk Player B by constant poking on Skype and other third-party programs. He also begins to constantly hang around Player B in-game, but without context his in-game behavior itself doesn't seem so bad, but is making Player B increasingly uncomfortable. Do you use Skype logs provided by Player B, even though it's off-site?

This isn't a rhetorical question, it's not an easy decision to make. However, I believe our reach extends as far as it needs to reach to keep CotH running smoothly.

Quote:Last point. Please. Please, please, please tell someone that you're going a "formal talking to" before and after said talks to it's known that it's considered a GM intervention. One recently banned person I spoke with claimed he was spoken to twice when I'm seeing claims he was spoken to at least three times. I cannot stress enough how vague GMs or admins can be with it, even if they're not aware. And please remember that "they know what they did" is never a proper excuse to not issue a verbal/typed warning.

While I do agree that additional clarity at times may help, assuming that the GMs are going to repeat the mantra that "this is a formal talking to" is a little unrealistic and comes off as unnatural in dialogue. Usually it's safe to say that if a GM feels the need to pull you aside for a few moments, it's a formal talking to unless noted otherwise. Usually, anyway.
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#32
Lack of clarity causes major confusion. Yeah, not everything will work in every case, but I still see "they know what they did" as bad excuse no matter what you tell me.
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#33
I'd also like to pitch in a note that not all "official talking to"s happen in the presence of several GMs. I've had friends on CotH who were banned for one reason or another; one rather recently. I've personally, as a GM, sat down and talked to these friends more times than I can count about what it is that's causing issues. This most recent friend, especially. Just to flake in on that particular issue. It doesn't always take an official GM-talk to pass on that something's not okay.
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#34
I would say off-site evidence should only be used for off-site misdemeanors that relate directly to CotH. Staalking on skype and harassing players is acceptable grounds for evidence. However, people generally venting their frustrations, talking smack, or otherwise just going about their daily business, shouldn't be held against them. People shouldn't have to be worrying about if what they say on Skype (or anywhere else on the internet for that matter) about CotH being used against them.

Again, this is where the case by case basis comes in handy.
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#35
(03-22-2013, 01:51 PM)SachikoMaeda Wrote: Lack of clarity causes major confusion. Yeah, not everything will work in every case, but I still see "they know what they did" as bad excuse no matter what you tell me.

They know because they've been told is the point, more so. Like, not in a synopsis of a letter expounding every single event, but over time they've been told things. In some cases, as stated, they end up doing something that gets them in trouble that leads to the ban.

I think it's a bad excuse for people to say "I don't know why I was banned!", because after going through it all myself on both sides it's kinda like---how could you not know? People will hold back information that makes them look good to their friends, which is more and more like this is sounding.

Otherwise, airing out dirty laundry to everyone sounds like a disaster. It -is- a disaster because in the past, we've had GM's that had done that -and- out of context, which leads to nothing but drama. Granted, I know this is one of -those- topics, and no system is perfect, but it's very lenient and not abused.

Certain people abused it in the past. Things changed heavily. Now it's more a matter of pleading ignorance by the sounds of everything. Generally, be nice and don't cause a ruckus or get in fights with people over stuff. It's pretty easy to -not- get banned here.
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#36
I've seen a banning where the person banned had no clue why.
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[4:16:27 PM] Cristovao di Silvio ( @CappnRob): theres the bar. then theres the bottom of the barrel, then theres you sachi
#37
Grakor!!! There's only one way to settle these rules....

Spoiler:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egne2ZCMM_0[/youtube]


(Lol. Serious thread, yea I know. But come'on now haha we all know I'm a terrible listener.)

With love from Grog.
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#38
...Speaking from experience, and not to make a statement on policies that may have changed...

GMs have always tried everything within their power to show someone where they're going wrong before placing a ban. Unless an infraction calls for immediate action, or a player is simply unwilling to listen to reason (and if that's the case, they're usually given time to cool their heads), reasoning has always been attempted. Whether the player chooses to respond to it and to take it on board is another matter entirely.

Some GMs have even gone as far as spending their evenings and weekends talking out issues with troublesome and troubled players. GMs are not trained to provide professional help for these people, however. They can only be so supportive, and can only bend the rules and infringe upon the discomfort of other players before it's time to consider if CotH is the right server for someone.

Lastly...

It's alarmingly easy to deny a fact that you don't want to believe and instead fabricate your own version of the truth. That is, of course, speaking of the only truths that we, as humans, are capable of perceiving and understanding. It is also not to say that there is anything wrong with seeking to find your own little slice of that truth, whether near or far from the actuality of it. A lie can love, just as truth can wound. I wonder how long ago I started on this tangent. I'll stop now.
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#39
I’m sorry Delta, but the GM’s have not always tried everything within their power to show someone where they’re going wrong before placing a ban. Maybe you meant ‘permanent ban’, that’s a reasonable assumption, but I’ve literally been banned before temporarily without knowing nor having a GM contact me to cease and desist. That must’ve been back in the early 2009’s. I’m sure there’s better care given today, though, I wouldn’t know because I don’t break the rules.

The problem isn’t so much that “the players just wont listen!” but from what I’ve seen it’s that ambiguity in the rules that favors the GM’s rather than the players—in other words, no matter what a player says the GM must get their way ‘for the greater good’. . .This works until we realize that the ‘greater good’ is contingent on the desires of the players, not just what the GM’s think is best for the players. If players find discomfort in something they should be able to express that discomfort instead of that non-proclaimed discomfort being assumed by the GM’s so that they can enforce on the accounts of discomfort that doesn’t exist. Maybe that’s not how it works by the staff, but from an outsider looking in and as a veteran administrator to Archaic WoW, that’s really what it looks like.

Lastly...

It's alarmingly easy to deny a fact that you don't want to believe and instead fabricate your own version of the truth.


You know (I'm assuming you're talking about SachikoMaeda), I’ve recently seen something like this technique being used by a GM as of late. . .The whole “hey I’m a mind reader so I’m going to make statements you haven’t made” thing. Rules 1 and especially 3 are infringed when this happens because it disrupts the medium of debate and enters in a logical fallacy (most usually in this case the Straw Man).

I’ve literally seen a GM say “thank you for understanding!” when it’s very clear that the player did not understand and did NOT accept the faulty, shoddy argument that was provided by the staff. It got to the point where the player was literally, by definition, bullied (imbalance of power and repetition) into making a decision. I’m not going to say who, not going to say where; I have a list of reforms I’ve written up that addresses all this and after revision I’ll be sending to Grakor or posting publicly.

Sorry for being so directed towards you Delta, that’s my bad. This was more of a general statement using your last post as an anchor to keep it from abstracting. If I came off passive aggressive then my bad. I want my criticism to remain constructive, and I keep thinking that it can be both vitriolic and helpful, haha. . .
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#40
I would like to presume that we've come a long way since 2009, as the early years of CotH were dark days indeed. That said, I am reading all of the feedback and even if I argue against it, I am trying to incorporate it and talk to the GMs over all of it.

Sourpuddle: could you perhaps rephrase some of the points you were trying to make? I'm having trouble following your trains of thought with how the sentences are written, currently.
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#41
Quote:If players find discomfort in something they should be able to express that discomfort instead of that non-proclaimed discomfort being assumed by the GM’s so that they can enforce on the accounts of discomfort that doesn’t exist.

If I'm reading this right, you're suggesting that players should be able to say if they feel uncomfortable about something, rather than the GMs making assumptions of what the issue is with the player and acting on those feelings instead?
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#42
(03-22-2013, 05:12 PM)Sourpuddle Wrote: That must’ve been back in the early 2009’s.

Well, as I've been multiple times (I joined in late 2009) and have seen, things have indeed changed a lot since then.

(03-22-2013, 05:12 PM)Sourpuddle Wrote: You know (I'm assuming you're talking about SachikoMaeda), I’ve recently seen something like this technique being used by a GM as of late. . .The whole “hey I’m a mind reader so I’m going to make statements you haven’t made” thing. Rules 1 and especially 3 are infringed when this happens because it disrupts the medium of debate and enters in a logical fallacy (most usually in this case the Straw Man).

I’ve literally seen a GM say “thank you for understanding!” when it’s very clear that the player did not understand and did NOT accept the faulty, shoddy argument that was provided by the staff. It got to the point where the player was literally, by definition, bullied (imbalance of power and repetition) into making a decision. I’m not going to say who, not going to say where; I have a list of reforms I’ve written up that addresses all this and after revision I’ll be sending to Grakor or posting publicly.

As far as this goes--

I don't believe its wrong to point out what Delta has noted. It is easier to believe your friend over the GM team, and that's understandable. But the unfortunate thing is that people can and will present themselves in a better light; I've seen logs forwarded to me of people misquoting snippets of GM dialogue to their friends, or omitting other remarks when sharing logs. Others (and bear in mind, I'm speaking of particularly bad cases in this one) may just omit what would otherwise be large issues which led to their banning. They may try and downplay their attitude. They may try and lessen the scope of their actions.

I've had it happen to me, and I've seen it take place quite a few times-- unfortunately it usually leads to a stir.


As for the latter end of your comment, I'm afraid I don't really know what you're referring to, and if this is a matter concerning past experiences... we may very well had worked out such behavior. The GM team is hardly static in that regard.

Furthermore, I can agree that ambiguity in rules can be an issue, but it isn't an issue that will lead to a ban. It's an issue that can lead to confusion and some hitches in RP (and we are currently looking into how to improve that), its matters such as conduct which will lead to a ban. And that has nothing to do with a player not listening, or a GM making a decision 'for the greater good'-- that's us adhering to the rules that Kretol has in place. We won't ban someone because they mess up with lore, or because they're having difficulty with a character. We will ban someone for how they conduct themselves in the community.

That being said, I do admit that I may have misunderstood some of your post; So if you think I have, feel free to elaborate.

EDIT: Three GM responses in a row. Yup. Welp. Good job, guys.
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#43
(03-22-2013, 05:41 PM)Clovis Wrote: If I'm reading this right, you're suggesting that players should be able to say if they feel uncomfortable about something, rather than the GMs making assumptions of what the issue is with the player and acting on those feelings instead?

The GM's aren't elected into their positions which means they can not represent the players opinions or ideas on dealing with ambiguity and rules. GM's shouldn't be a dog in the fight for figuring out ambiguity, it should be between players to decide with the help and mediation of the GM's. Something like that. I'm sure I might regret saying some of this, but right now I think that's an OK interpretation from my thoughts to words.

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: Well, as I've been multiple times (I joined in late 2009) and have seen, things have indeed changed a lot since then.

Absolutely.

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: I don't believe its wrong to point out what Delta has noted. It is easier to believe your friend over the GM team, and that's understandable. But the unfortunate thing is that people can and will present themselves in a better light; I've seen logs forwarded to me of people misquoting snippets of GM dialogue to their friends, or omitting other remarks when sharing logs.

I mean, that's cool, but I do not consider snippets, altered phrases or summaries from a friend as evidence. It peaks my inquiry, you know, I'll ask all about it and take it with a grain of salt and if possible I'd look at logs, but I've been around a lot of players who have dissent for the GM's and I've seen that the things they've done aren't as bad as they make them out to be. So this isn't based off of gossip or some smack talk, but I get what you're saying.

It's important that when a player DOES have dissent to the GM team it is evidence that the GM team did SOMETHING to incite that dissent. That's the evidence that lies in gossip; the fact that it exists.

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: Others (and bear in mind, I'm speaking of particularly bad cases in this one) may just omit what would otherwise be large issues which led to their banning. They may try and downplay their attitude. They may try and lessen the scope of their actions.

I've had it happen to me, and I've seen it take place quite a few times-- unfortunately it usually leads to a stir.

Totally, yeah.

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: As for the latter end of your comment, I'm afraid I don't really know what you're referring to, and if this is a matter concerning past experiences... we may very well had worked out such behavior. The GM team is hardly static in that regard.

The GM team has always been (and this is said harshly, but) selectively picked. . .Which, in theory, works because of the solidity of most of the GM's agreeing on something, but in practice is terrible for the players. Let me demonstrate:

There's a problem and a player is giving solution A, yet the GM's are so similar in their opinions and so solid that their solution B is heavily supported. Because the staff is all supporting the opposite resolution and they are the ones who actually authorize the decisions, players WILL back off from solution A regardless of how legitimate and reasonable it is. The GM team has almost preconceived notions about what it's "decision" is and all tumble in with their 'personal opinions' and 'non-official, casual input'. . .And solution B is picked not because it's a better solution but because no matter what the players do solution B was decided all along.

Maybe that makes it seem too conspiratorial. . .I assure you, these things happen without us realizing it. It happens to actual, legitimate institutions in government of all kinds. So it's no suprise that, maybe, it's here.

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: Furthermore, I can agree that ambiguity in rules can be an issue, but it isn't an issue that will lead to a ban. It's an issue that can lead to confusion and some hitches in RP (and we are currently looking into how to improve that), its matters such as conduct which will lead to a ban. And that has nothing to do with a player not listening, or a GM making a decision 'for the greater good'-- that's us adhering to the rules that Kretol has in place. We won't ban someone because they mess up with lore, or because they're having difficulty with a character. We will ban someone for how they conduct themselves in the community.

That's my bad, I didn't mean to infer that ambiguity in rules would get someone banned. That'd be pretty Big Brother, though!

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: That being said, I do admit that I may have misunderstood some of your post; So if you think I have, feel free to elaborate.

(03-22-2013, 05:35 PM)Grakor456 Wrote: Sourpuddle: could you perhaps rephrase some of the points you were trying to make? I'm having trouble following your trains of thought with how the sentences are written, currently.

Sorry, I've been reading a lot of Albert Camus recently and his writing is very transcendental and translated from french. My bad.

(03-22-2013, 05:43 PM)Rigley Wrote: EDIT: Three GM responses in a row. Yup. Welp. Good job, guys.

Sweet. It's all good in the hood, I know what you mean though.

(03-22-2013, 05:35 PM)Grakor456 Wrote: I would like to presume that we've come a long way since 2009, as the early years of CotH were dark days indeed. That said, I am reading all of the feedback and even if I argue against it, I am trying to incorporate it and talk to the GMs over all of it.

Alright, that sounds good. Like I said, I have a hefty post written out for public display but I'm willing to show you before publication. It should be better written and more focused on what I was talking about. It's about 1300 words and deals a lot more on ambiguity than banning.
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#44
Ban in the context of 'warning, suspension, ban' means a permanent ban, aye. Suspensions were meant to be sharp shocks to the system, a wake-up call, but I was not a GM in '09 so I can't speak of the policies during that period with any certainty. Indeed, I was not even a member of CotH in '09!

Grakor is right, though. Many of us have come a long way in those four years.

I'm not sure you could call that bit about truth a technique, really. Perhaps I have a natural inclination to scepticism when it comes to this specific subject, and perhaps there is a great deal of evidence backing up my niggling suspicion.

To explain...

When one's conduct elicits an overt warning, and the warning is not heeded, is it not a foregone conclusion that action will be taken?

It's hard to imagine that people can't feel the edge of a blade underneath their feet as they dance upon it, and I think it audacious to claim that a ban could take anyone completely by surprise. The timing might feel cumbersome or sudden, the reasoning might feel unjust, but who among the banned and formerly-banned could say in all honesty that they never imagined for a moment that it might happen?

If you glance over CotH's rules, most of them are pretty hard to break by accident. Profanity might slip out, tempers might flare, but the rules have a general theme of 'be nice to CotH and CotH will be nice to you'.

I agree that reasonable attempts at negotiation should be made, and that rule-breaking actions should be answered with a clear consequence that is announced to the relevant party in no uncertain terms. These codes should always be observed in a way relevant to the case in question, and no one's always right all of the time, of course. We all occasionally misunderstand, misconstrue, and are subject to human flaws. That's where the GM body in full comes into it. One person's analysis of a situation might fall prey to bias, but three, four, five, and more people analysing a problem have a very good chance of drawing the right conclusion. Especially if they have all of the facts, or a fair portion of the relevant information.

At the end of the day, people are going to believe what they will believe, but I'll put what I said earlier another way: Without self-deprecating, realising your own shortcomings is the only way to start working to improve yourself.
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#45
Quote:The GM's aren't elected into their positions which means they can not represent the players opinions or ideas on dealing with ambiguity and rules.

I could see your reasoning here if GM's were somehow outsourced, but every GM was a player. Sorry to say it, but if they were elected by players it'd be a popularity contest that wouldn't always favor in the way of what's best for the server.

But going as far as saying they can't represent player's opinions is kind of... well.

Loxxy comes to mind. As does Caravan. And Rigley. And many, many, many other GM's that take suggestions and ideas not only for rules but for other things on the server -very- seriously. Honestly, I can see where some confusion comes from, but respect and such isn't as "broad" of a statement as you'd think. I mean, you could claim that people don't know what actions could be interpreted as being a jerk to someone, but let's be honest, that's pretty much common sense. Not to mention, if someone reports the actions of another with sufficient screenshots or other proof---well, then, it's hard to say "Well, the rule doesn't quite cover this...".

It's pretty easy to keep your nose clean here. I don't really know what further elaboration people are looking for beyond "Don't be jerks to eachother." Heh.





Edit: Also, GM's don't always see eye to eye. That's why bans have to be discussed, because sometimes people don't agree with things. Sometimes, from what I remember, it could even be over-talked. Everyone thinks that the GM's are this unified power-ranger task force, but, they are all different people with different goals and motivations.
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