Improvements to ban/appeals system

storageman

New member
May 30, 2021
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IGN - Dawnpapi

Have provided some feedback to give context to my suggestions and then listed my suggestions after. Thanks.

Feedback #1 - Long response times to ban appeals

I've noticed that the forum is barely moderated and responses to appeals are slow (takes up to 1 week to reply sometimes) despite the low post count. It is understandable that the staff have their own irl things to attend to and that time is needed to review the evidence of these bans but in most cases (botting/macro/keyweight offences) the evidence is rather telling and shouldn't take up much time to review (do correct me if i'm wrong, but macro/botting/keyweight evidences are simply 3 failed LD logs and/or 3 min video reports by other players).

Moreover with the long response times, the punishment given is extended unnecessarily by no fault of the player.
Take for example, https://forum.windia.me/index.php?threads/ban-appeal.1541/

Offence: Banned due to sharing account with another player who breached ToS (technically didn't commit an offence)
Response time by staff: 6 days
Punishment: Banned for 7 days before having account restored

The player above was effectively banned for 13 days for non-breach of ToS. If he/she had a 30 day pet vac active, that is close to 10usd down the drain which probably wont be compensated.

One can argue that he/she is responsible for their account and should be wary of who to share accounts with, then by all means the 7 days punishment is justified (but think about it, is it really? 7 days?). But what about the 6 days waiting for the reply? From the thread, we can also see that the player was prompt in his/her reply, thus that is 6 unnecessary days of punishment.

Another possible argument for not backdating the punishment is that an extended period of ban will give players more time to reflect on their actions. I personally believe this is a pile of horseshit and an excuse for the long response times. If a player really wants to breach the ToS a second time, 6 extra days of ban wont change that; moreover it will be easier to just let them back in quicker and get banned permanently so you don't have to be bothered by them anymore.

Suggestion #1 - Punishments should be backdated to the date of appeal

The player is already banned when they make their appeal and by virtue of making an appeal, have expressed their desire to return to playing the game and should not be further penalized for factors out of their control (i.e. staff response times).

I must emphasize that the decision to unban still lies with Windia staff. Should the banned player's appeal be unsatisfactory or contains false information, the punishment should only be backdated to the date of the appeal post/reply which proves to be satisfactory

Feedback #2 - Inconsistent punishments for same/similar offences

While every ban/appeal is unique and to be handled differently, there are certain offences that are straight-forward and do not warrant such treatment.

I've tabulated the ban durations for macro/botting/keyweighting for the first page of Accepted appeals and current ongoing appeals. I have also included the response time to the first post of each appeal.

1st Page of Accepted appeals


1st Page of on-going ban appeals

Appeal PostResponse time by staff to first postBan duration givenTotal Ban duration
6 days7 days13 days
1 day7 days8 days
1 day7 days8 days

Suggestion #2 - Fixed punishment for straight-forward offences to ensure fairness

I propose the following fixed punishments for the identified offences for fairness. The following punishments are for the 1st offence, since the 2nd offence typically is a permanent ban.

Botting/Macro/Keyweight - 7 days ban backdated to date of appeal + start on fresh account
Farming on multiple clients - 7 days ban backdated to date of appeal + account wiped off of farmed items (i.e. cs/ws/pflame/ess stones/totems, etc.)

Suggestion #3 - Recruit Interns/GMs that are able to be more active in forums

Pretty self-explanatory. If the main staff is too busy, then outsource this menial work to someone else.
 
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shavit

/dev/null
Staff member
Oct 19, 2019
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Hi, thanks for the feedback.
Internally, we already approved a system of changes to the ban system, but it's pending an implementation by me.

Some of the proposed changes are:
  • Timed bans, rather than just a permanent ban. e.g. someone who is banned for harassment could be banned for a week on first offense and then automatically unbanned without staff intervention, but someone who is attempting to exploit the server can be banned for 3 months.
  • The ability to let banned keyweighters/macro users/botters to return on the same account. The current idea is to backtrack and remove the botted goods from their inventories, tax them (e.g. come back with negative credits, VP) and allow them to play on the same account.
  • Better distinction between users who are banned for account sharing offenses. e.g. user A gets banned for hacking, user B who shared a Sharp Eyes mule with them gets chain banned as well. The current system gets rid of the bad actors but also gets innocent players banned. We usually (I won't say "we always do" because no one is perfect) unban them when prompted but it's currently a pain in the ass to do.
  • And finally, wiping hardware bans to allow everyone who is permanently banned to start playing again. This step is required if I go ahead with the previous change which will allow us to better distinguish between users who are sharing accounts with banned players.

Considering you're already providing feedback about the ban system, I'd like your opinion (and everyone else's, of course) on the matter.
 

niuniu

New member
Aug 4, 2021
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"The ability to let banned keyweighters/macro users/botters to return on the same account. The current idea is to backtrack and remove the botted goods from their inventories, tax them (e.g. come back with negative credits, VP) and allow them to play on the same account."

For this point, i would like to add on by giving a temporory ban like 14 days (1st offence), 30 day (2nd offence) and permanent ban for subsequent abuser. Or restrict botters to purchase Vaccum for a period of time (30 days/60days) to prevent them from progression if we still want them to participate in boss raid for other events .This will hopefully increase the current player population.

I hope you could consider them, so that more players can play back. Thanks for the intention for making WindiaMS a better place.
 

mimi

New member
May 23, 2021
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  • And finally, wiping hardware bans to allow everyone who is permanently banned to start playing again. This step is required if I go ahead with the previous change which will allow us to better distinguish between users who are sharing accounts with banned players.

would it be a blanket unban on all accounts or would it still be reviewed on a case-by-case basis?
 
Last edited:

storageman

New member
May 30, 2021
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Thank you for the prompt reply shavit.

The proposed changes look superb. I do have a few comments.

  • Timed bans, rather than just a permanent ban. e.g. someone who is banned for harassment could be banned for a week on first offense and then automatically unbanned without staff intervention, but someone who is attempting to exploit the server can be banned for 3 months.
    • Basically similar to Suggestion #2 which I posted, thus I am in favor of this change

  • The ability to let banned keyweighters/macro users/botters to return on the same account. The current idea is to backtrack and remove the botted goods from their inventories, tax them (e.g. come back with negative credits, VP) and allow them to play on the same account.
    • I am in favor of this. Also this would appease lots of players both old and new, especially those who are already in late-game and banned, like niuniu.
    • Would you clarify to what extent the backtrack will be, is it going to be a full removal of the entire inventory (including equips)? Interesting to know how it is decided which are the botted goods if it is only a partial inventory wipe
    • Tax on credits seem severe since its real money involved. Yes, donations are voluntary but who are we kidding, the credits from donation are used to purchase services in game. 90% of people who purchase credits do it for the in-game services and not out of the kindness of their hearts for the server (no offence intended). I would suggest removing their pet vac if its still active and a tax on their VP. If they keep using RLS to purchase 30 day vac for botting again and again, they keep wasting 2RLS and you get more donations. If they are using VP to purchase vac, a progressive tax on VP per offence should eventually reduce their VP to 0 and thus ends their botting career.

  • Better distinction between users who are banned for account sharing offenses. e.g. user A gets banned for hacking, user B who shared a Sharp Eyes mule with them gets chain banned as well. The current system gets rid of the bad actors but also gets innocent players banned. We usually (I won't say "we always do" because no one is perfect) unban them when prompted but it's currently a pain in the ass to do.
    • This definitely is a move in the right direction. Good job if this system is implemented in future.
    • Should such instances of 'false' bans still occur, will there be adequate compensation for the poor response times by staff? For e.g. if i have a 30day vac ongoing then got 'false' banned and had to wait for 7 days for someone to get back to me.

  • And finally, wiping hardware bans to allow everyone who is permanently banned to start playing again. This step is required if I go ahead with the previous change which will allow us to better distinguish between users who are sharing accounts with banned players.
    • Is this a one-time event or will users never be permanently banned anymore but just have heavier punishments handed to them for repeated offences?
    • Are all accounts going to be unbanned regardless of past offences no matter how severe the offence? i.e. doxxing, chargeback, credit fraud (lmao cant believe someone actually did this)

These changes do sound promising and i do hope they can be cleared for implementation soon. #reviveLeeGuoWin
 

Nekomaki

Head of Staff
Staff member
Oct 20, 2019
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windia.me
Please keep in mind that the things I say in this reply may or may not be final.

Would you clarify to what extent the backtrack will be, is it going to be a full removal of the entire inventory (including equips)? Interesting to know how it is decided which are the botted goods if it is only a partial inventory wipe
The aim is probably to just be items that were gained through illegal means, but that's a pretty hard judge, and it could cover more than just CS, CoGs, etc.

Tax on credits seem severe since its real money involved. Yes, donations are voluntary but who are we kidding, the credits from donation are used to purchase services in game. 90% of people who purchase credits do it for the in-game services and not out of the kindness of their hearts for the server (no offence intended). I would suggest removing their pet vac if its still active and a tax on their VP. If they keep using RLS to purchase 30 day vac for botting again and again, they keep wasting 2RLS and you get more donations. If they are using VP to purchase vac, a progressive tax on VP per offence should eventually reduce their VP to 0 and thus ends their botting career.
You have to remember not everyone with credits purchased them. Typically people bot to gain a lot of in-game currency to be able to trade others for premium currency. I understand that this is a very sensitive topic, considering it does involve real money in some part of the chain, but it's hard to give a pass on people just because they donated. A system will be thought of and put in place, however, modifications will most likely have to be made on it based on player feedback.

Should such instances of 'false' bans still occur, will there be adequate compensation for the poor response times by staff? For e.g. if i have a 30day vac ongoing then got 'false' banned and had to wait for 7 days for someone to get back to me.
We tend to offer compensation for users affected by glitches/bugs. If, for example, we have a new anti-cheat system and we verify that it is falsely banning users automatically, compensation would be provided. Do not take that as the only scenario—I am just listing one of potentially many. This is just to give you and others an idea of what the general idea behind providing compensation would be.

Is this a one-time event or will users never be permanently banned anymore but just have heavier punishments handed to them for repeated offences?
The current idea being thrown around is that it's a one-time ban wipe and that way everybody from that point on will be subject to the new ban system, not just a select few.

I hope that answers a few questions.